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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, USA Today reports. Thrasher, 19, beat silver medalist Du Li of China in the final round with a total of 208, setting an Olympic record in the finals. Du finished with 207. The West Virginia native, Thrasher, is an NCAA champion competing in her first Olympics. She wasn’t the favorite going in as Du won gold in 2004. Serbian shooter Andrea Arsovic is ranked No. 1 in the world and failed to advance to the final. Yi won Olympic gold in the 2012 London Games.

Ginny Thrasher, 19, has ushered in the gold for Team USA in an upset that saw two Chinese competitors take silver and bronze in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event.

The teenager from Springfield, Virginia, defeated Du Li and Yi Siling with a total score of 208.0, setting an Olympic record in the finals.

Thrasher, who wanted to become an Olympic figure skater when she was a kid, fired her first gun just five years ago during a hunting excursion with her grandfather.

Ginny Thrasher, 19, has ushered in the gold for Team USA in an upset that saw two Chinese competitors take silver and bronze in the women's 10-meter air rifle event

Ginny Thrasher, 19, has ushered in the gold for Team USA in an upset that saw two Chinese competitors take silver and bronze in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event

Thrasher, who wanted to become an Olympic figure skater when she was a kid, fired her first gun just five years ago during a hunting excursion with her grandfather

Thrasher, who wanted to become an Olympic figure skater when she was a kid, fired her first gun just five years ago during a hunting excursion with her grandfather

The teenager from Springfield, Virginia, defeated Du Li (left) and Yi Siling (right) with a total score of 208.0, setting an Olympic record in the finals.

The teenager from Springfield, Virginia, defeated Du Li (left) and Yi Siling (right) with a total score of 208.0, setting an Olympic record in the finals.

Thrasher faced tough competition, but came out a full point ahead of 34-year-old veteran Du Li, (left) who won gold in the event in 2004

Thrasher faced tough competition, but came out a full point ahead of 34-year-old veteran Du Li, (left) who won gold in the event in 2004

Bronze medalist Yi (right) was the defending gold champion from 2012 (pictured, Thrasher on the podium with her gold medal) 

Bronze medalist Yi (right) was the defending gold champion from 2012 (pictured, Thrasher on the podium with her gold medal)

Thrasher emerged from the pack of 50 women in the qualifying round with seven other competitors in the finals.

Athletes stand 10 meters from the target and attempt to hit the bullseye for a maximum score of 10.9, which Thrasher received early on qualifying round.

The teen faced tough competition, but came out a full point ahead of 34-year-old veteran Li, who won gold in the event in 2004.

Bronze medalist Yi was the defending gold champion from 2012.

Thrasher's coach, Jon Hammond, acknowledged the teen's steely resolve, even though she is known for being upbeat and full of life outside the sport

Thrasher’s coach, Jon Hammond, acknowledged the teen’s steely resolve, even though she is known for being upbeat and full of life outside the sport

 Thrasher said mastering the mental side of the sport is the most attractive part, since controlling her emotions to consistently score 10s under pressure is 'very hard'

 Thrasher said mastering the mental side of the sport is the most attractive part, since controlling her emotions to consistently score 10s under pressure is ‘very hard’

Thrasher’s coach, Jon Hammond, acknowledged the teen’s steely resolve, saying: ‘When it comes to anything that’s a challenge — a test, a competition, training — it’s very easy for her to dial in that concentration,’ NBC reported.

The engineering major at West Virginia University said: ‘What’s most attractive of rifle is the mental side of the sport.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPoIZlhNti4

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