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U.S. shooter Virginia Thrasher claims 1st gold medal of Rio Olympics


08-07-2016 10:52 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

The first event to finish would be the women's 10-meter air rifle. Two former champions from China, Yi Siling and Du Li, were expected to engage in a compelling duel to top the podium. But the veteran markswomen would find themselves exchanging shots with a newcomer to the Olympic scene, leading to an exciting finish at the firing range.

Virginia Thrasher (C) of the United States, Du Li (L) and Yi Siling of China attend the awarding ceremony of the Women

Virginia Thrasher (C) of the United States, Du Li (L) and Yi Siling of China attend the awarding ceremony of the Women's 10m Air Rifle of shooting of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 6, 2016. (Xinhua/Qi Heng)

Yi Siling, the winner of the women's 10-meter air rifle in 2012, came in looking to defend her title in Rio. The Chinese shooter was leading in the early stages of the final, but her aim began to falter midway through the event. Du Li had won this event back in 2004, and she would soon overtake her compatriot in the standings, alongside the USA's Ginny Thrasher. In the knockout phase, Yi was forced out with just three athletes remaining, and the 27-year-old settled for bronze. Du would then go head-to-head with Thrasher for the first gold of the Games. The 19-year-old American kept her composure, and held off a strong comeback from Du, to seal the victory -- becoming the first champion at these Olympic Games. Du took silver.

Pang Wei of China third behind Vietnam’s first gold medalist

Just hours later, Du's husband Pang Wei would take part in the men's 10-meter air pistol event. He was a strong contender, and stayed in the lead group for most of the afternoon. In the knockout stage, Pang would clash with Brazil's Felipe Almeida Wu for the right to advance. Pang's accuracy improved, but he was unable to make amends for his misfires in earlier rounds, bowing out in bronze medal position, and leaving Wu to face Vietnam's Xuan Vinh Hoang for the top spot. Wu finishes shooting first, before Hoang fires a 9.2 on his first attempt. He then recovers to tally a 10.7 on the last shot of the day to clinch the win, making him the first-ever Olympic gold medalist for Vietnam.

China's Sun Yiwen reaches the third place match in women's epee
And in fencing, China's Sun Yiwen would reach the third place match in women's epee, taking on Lauren Rembi of France. The two competitors stay close for most of the match, with Sun up by one point with 37 seconds left. She then scores one more crucial touch, winning the bout 15-13 to claim the bronze medal, with Emese Szasz of Hungary grabbing gold, Italian Rossella Flamingo claiming silver. (OUT)

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