Olympic Roundup Day 2 - Cogdell-Unrein Gets Bronze

Olympic Roundup Day 2 - Cogdell-Unrein Gets Bronze

Day Two at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio was a good day for USA Shooting, with women's trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein bringing home the second shooting medal in as many days for Team USA. Women's air pistol was also completed today, with Americans Lydia Paterson finishing 29th and Enkelejda Shehaj finishing 40th. Other countries are seeing their first medals in Rio coming from the shooting sports, which is certainly helping highlight the positive impact of target shooting on a world stage.

Women's Trap: Cogdell-Unrein Back on the Olympic Podium

Corey Cogdell-Unrein is no stranger to the Olympic medals podium. Her solid performance in the qualifying round and a fantastic nail-biter shoot-off today in Rio gave her the edge it took to get back to the position she earned in Beijing in 2008 - a bronze medal in women's trap. Corey shot 68 of 75 targets in windy conditions to qualify for the 25-round finals match. In the final she was neck-and-neck with the eventual silver medalist Natalie Rooney (New Zealand) until a missed clay took her out of contention for the gold medal. According to a post-match interview for TeamUSA.org, Corey had to force herself to re-focus to stay in medal contention. 

When I missed that target to potentially put myself in the gold-medal match, I had to really re-focus my attention quickly... I just told myself going into the second shoot-off to not rush and really take your time. I wanted to make sure I was focused on that target.
— TeamUSA.org Interview

You have to love the mental tenacity Corey Cogdell-Unrein displayed on the trap field today. International Trap shooting demands rapid response times, and perfection on the first try. Only one shot can be fired at a clay that can speed by at over 60 miles per hour, at a variety of angles, always moving away from the shooter. Busting one of these clays is thrilling. Missing a clay target is frustrating (#understatement). When it's windy as it was today, the inevitable misses can make it difficult to recover the focus necessary to perform at an elite level over 75 shots. Corey keeps proving that she has got the grit necessary to battle through tough conditions in one of the toughest shooting sports, as she did today. Congratulations to Corey for a job very well done.

Women's Air pistol

Women's air pistol was the first match of the day, and unfortunately America's medal hopes in this event ended quickly. Lydia Paterson, a first time Olympian, fired a score of 378 out of a possible 400 to finish 29th. Lydia is by far the best female air pistol shooter right now in the USA. She qualified for the national team three years ago at age 16, and in the Olympic trials she fired a 387 to punch her ticket to Rio. Had she repeated that performance today, Lydia would have been in the finals match with a chance to shoot for a medal. I am hopeful that she will stick with it and in 2020 she will return to the Olympics ready for redemption.

Enkelejda Shehaj fired a 372 today in her return to the Olympic stage after a 20 year hiatus and a citizenship change. Enkelejda shot for Albania during the communist and immediate post-communist eras, and represented Albania in the 1992, 1994, and 1996 Olympics. Her story is one of struggle, determination, and triumph, and I'm proud that she's representing the USA. Though I wish both of our women air pistol shooters had better days today, it is not the end of their Olympic dreams. Shooting is a lifetime sport, as Enkelejda's career attests. 

First rio 2016 Gold Medals for USA, Vietnam, China are in Shooting, host country brazil's first medal is silver in air pistol

USA, Brazil, Vietnam, China... What do these nations all have in common? Their first medals at the Olympics were in the shooting sports! For USA, Vietnam and China the shooting sports have struck gold. This is a big deal for the shooting sports. In fact, Hoang Xuan Vinh's men's air pistol victory yesterday was the first ever Olympic gold medal for Vietnam - which is a huge deal! Brazil, the host country for the Olympics, earned its first medal with Felipe Wu's silver in men's air pistol. The home crowd, looking for a victory in the Games that are taking place in their backyard, has to be thrilled with this result. 

The second day of shooting matches at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro had plenty of excitement for the shooting sports fan. I can't wait to see what will happen tomorrow when the US men's air rifle shooters Dan Lowe and Lucas Kozeniesky step up to the firing line! Lucas is on a hot streak as of late, and might pull a Ginny Thrasher on us. #LetsHopeSo

Olympic Roundup Day 3 - USA Gets Skunked in the Shooting Sports

Olympic Roundup Day 1 - Ginny Thrasher is Golden in Women's Air Rifle and Men's Archery Team Repeats Silver

Olympic Roundup Day 1 - Ginny Thrasher is Golden in Women's Air Rifle and Men's Archery Team Repeats Silver