World Cup Final: In-form Rhode wins skeet gold

The 37-year-old beat the reigning Olympic champion Diana Bacosi.

Kimberly Rhode with her gold medal in Delhi on Wednesday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

World No.1 Kimberly Rhode of the U.S. gave a glimpse of her awesome form as she won a marathon shoot-off 22-21 for the women’s skeet gold. It was a classy and gutsy fare, as the 37-year-old Rhode beat the reigning Olympic champion Diana Bacosi of Italy in defending her trophy in the World Cup Final at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in Tughlakabad on Wednesday.

Read: India finishes eighth in 10m air rifle

It was the third World Cup Final gold for Rhode who had won it last year in Rome. After being tied with Bacosi on 56 out of 60 in the final - it equalled her own world record - Rhode did not miss a bird, despite the poor visibility and the machines being exhausted of the clay birds. The curtains on the competition came down, as Bacosi missed the 22nd bird on the fifth station.

Special treat

For the sparse gathering that had waited, it was a special treat to watch the masterly performance by Rhode who has six Olympic medals, including three gold. Rhode shot 78 out of 82 birds in the long-drawn final, after having topped qualification with 73 out of 75, spread over three rounds. The gold in itself was no surprise, as Rhode had won two of her 15 World Cup gold medals this season, including one in Delhi at the same venue in February.

Another American, the reigning World Champion Dania Jo Vizzi took the bronze, ahead of compatriot Caitlin Connor, Simona Scocchetti of Italy and Wei Meng of China. It was the 20-year-old Istvan Peni of Hungary who clinched the men’s air rifle gold, 0.3 point ahead of the 42-year-old Vitali Bubnovich of Belarus, while the seasoned Peter Sidi of Hungary, the defending champion, clinched the bronze. It was the eighth World Cup Final medal for Sidi, the former World Champion.

The lone Indian in action this day, Ravi Kumar did well to qualify in the fifth place for the final, but a below par start in the final saw him crash out first, after 12 shots.

Gold for Goberville

In women’s air pistol, the 31-year-old Celine Goberville of France clinched the gold, despite an 8.5 on the penultimate shot in the final. She had built up a big lead against Lin Yuemei of China, the former world champion, who had won two gold in the World Cups this season, including one at the same venue in February.

It was the second medal for the French woman who had won the mixed silver on the opening day. Olympic champion Zhang Mengxue of China, who topped qualification with 391, ended up with the bronze.

The results

Men

10m air rifle: 1. Istvan Peni (Hun) 249.8 EWRJ (628.0); 2. Vitali Bubnovich (Blr) 249.5 (625.9); 3. Peter Sidi (Hun) 228.5 (622.9); 8. Ravi Kumar 123.4 (623.9).

Women

10m air pistol: 1. Celine Goberville (Fra) 240.9 (385); 2. Lin Yuemei (Chn) 237.0 (380); 3. Zhang Mengxue (Chn) 218.7 (391).

Skeet: 1. Kimberly Rhode (U.S.) 56 EWR (22) 73(2); 2. Diana Bacosi (Ita) 56 (21) 70(3); 3. Dania Jo Vizzi (U.S.) 44 (72)4.