RIO DE JANEIRO — American shooter Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics, pulling off an upset in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event Saturday morning.
Thrasher, 19, beat silver medalist Du Li of China in the final round with a total of 208.0, setting an Olympic record in the finals. Du finished with 207.0.
Yi Siling of China took bronze as the first medals in Rio were awarded.
Thrasher wasn’t one of the favorites to win a medal coming into the Olympics.
“I think I knew it was realistic for me to make finals, but I was not focused on that,” she said. “I was focusing on just shooting the best that I could, and that got me there.”
She is an NCAA champion at West Virginia competing in her first Olympics. The American was up against a deep field that included Du, who won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and Andrea Arsovic of Serbia, who is ranked No. 1 in the world and failed to advance to the final. Yi won Olympic gold in the 2012 London Games.
American Sarah Scherer was eighth.