Virginia Thrasher wins first gold medal of Rio Olympics for USA in 10m air rifle

The American teenager Virginia Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, holding her nerve to clinch the women’s 10 metre air-rifle event, according to The Guardian.

Thrasher edged out China’s Du Li with an Olympic record score of 208. The result is quite a surprise. Thrasher is ranked 23 in the world and Du had been dominant in qualifying.

Thrasher shot 10.5 on her first shot of the final elimination round and smiled after 10.4 on her second shot put her comfortably ahead of Du. Thrasher had a cumulative score of 208.0 to beat Du, a two-time gold medallist, by a point. The bronze medal was claimed by the 2012 Olympic champion, Yi Siling of China.

Thrasher became the first freshman to win both individual NCAA rifle titles and helped West Virginia to win the team title. She followed that by winning the US Olympic trials less than a month later, earning a trip to Rio.