Almaty, Kazakhstan - It seems nothing can shake the confidence of five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode these days. As a result, she's opened her 2014 shooting campaign with back-to-back World Cup medals after winning a gold medal Sunday in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Having not shot an international match since winning Olympic gold in London, Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) returned to action last month in Tucson, Ariz., and quickly picked up where she left off with the top qualifying score and an eventual bronze medal.
Shortly after celebrating the first birthday of son Carter, she ventured overseas once again but this time to an unfamiliar range located just outside Kazakhstan's biggest city.
Rhode would connect on two fewer shots (71) than she did in Tucson finishing third in qualifying but executed to perfection throughout the semifinals and finals, not dropping a target in 32 shots on her way to the win. She defeated Italy's Chiara Cainero in the final 16-14. Germany's Christine Wenzel finished third with a 16-13 defeat of Katiuscia Spada.
Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas) just missed qualifying for her second straight final as well, her score of 69 just short of the 70 needed to be among the top-six finalists. Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa) finished with a score of 63 and in 27th-place.
Men's skeet shooters got underway on Sunday featuring USA Shooting Team members Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.), Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas) and Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.). All three put themselves into contention for a medal run Monday with Perry and Hancock dropping two birds and sit a 48/50 while Thompson shot a 47. Twelve competitors shot higher scores so the field is tightly packed as usual.
All 15 USA Shooting Team members competing in Almaty earned their selection based upon results of the last two Selection Match events. Athletes are using these World Cups as preparation for the summer's most important event, the 2014 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships this September in Granada, Spain.
More than 300 athletes from over 45 countries are competing in the five Shotgun Olympic events.
For complete results from the Almaty World Cup, click here:
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