USA’s Ginny Thrasher Wins First Gold Medal in Women’s Air Rifle Competition at 2016 Olympics

Ginny Thrasher

The first win! American athlete Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the women’s 10-meter air-rifle competition on Saturday, August 6.

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The 19-year-old Virginia native defeated Chinese veterans Du Li and Yi Siling with a final score of 208, a mere one-point lead over Li, 34, who bowed out at 207. Siling, 27, finished at 185.4.

Thrasher, who is currently an engineering student at West Virginia University, first showed off her impressive shooting skills when she won five medals at the 2016 USA Shooting National Championships.

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The teen athlete first discovered her love for the sport when she joined her father and brother on a hunting trip five years ago, according to NBCOlympics.com.

“They didn’t think I was going to pull the trigger. They didn’t think I could kill a deer,” she told the website.

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Upon her arrival at WVU, Thrasher joined the Mountaineer’s rifle team. She has since led her university’s team to their 18th NCAA team rifle championship and also took home individual titles in air rifle and smallbore.

According to ABC News, the teen, who was also on her high school’s rifle team, is the first freshman rifle shooter to win both NCAA individual titles and to earn a spot in the Olympics.

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