FORT BENNING, Georgia (May 9, 2018)
The first day of competition at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Fort Benning opened on a promising note for the U.S. team with 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) posting a world-class Qualification score to qualify for her first Final since 2016.
Thrasher qualified for the Women’s Air Rifle Final in seventh place with a world-class score of 627.4, but with eventual silver medalist Yingjie Zhu of China posting a world-record Qualification score of 633.4, the competition at this World Cup was proving to be fierce.
“I feel like lately I’ve had really good technique, good equipment and really good positions, but I feel like it hasn’t translated yet to the matches,” said Thrasher. “I felt like today was a great step in the right direction to just let go and perform. I did the right things, I came off the line, and when I got back I fixed my NPA and went back shooting the best I could. Found that rhythm and ended up shooting really deep [high, 10-point scores] for a long time.”
Once in the Final, the trio of Chinese athletes shot to the front of the pack early in the first few strings of shots. Though Thrasher’s last shot in the Final was a 10.8, it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead put forth by the eventual Chinese medalists and Thrasher finished in fifth place.
“In the Final, I felt like I had good technique and I was executing well, but it was very, very competitive,” Thrasher said. “I was shooting a lot of tens, just most of them weren’t quite deep enough. You’re in a Final, you get nervous and your hold gets bigger. I’m really excited