Spring Breakin’ at Acapulco World Cup: Rhode, Connor & Jacob Dominate Skeet

Spring Breakin’: Rhode, Connor & Jacob Dominate Skeet at Acapulco World Cup

Kim Rhode (center) and Caitlin Connor (left) share the World Cup Skeet Podium once againIt may be a popular spring break destination for Americans, but Acapulco was also the site of a great American skeet performance Saturday led by another career win for the incomparable Kim Rhode, along with a silver and fourth for Team USA.

Rhode stood highest on the podium for the third time competing in Acapulco, defeating her impressive teammate Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) in the Finals.  Seventeen-year-old Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) made it a perfect American trifecta in the Final and would wind up fourth overall.

 

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Saturday’s USA performance adds to the gold medal won by Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) last Sunday.  The U.S. Shotgun Team has found much to like about Acapulco since World Cups began there in 2010, having earned 19 World Cup medals in Mexico to date during four World Cups.

Incomparable is about the only apt description left to describe the six-time Olympic medalist Rhode (El Monte, California) in winning her 10thWorld Cup medal in skeet during her illustrious career.  How has she answered becoming the first summer Olympic athlete to ever earn six straight Olympic medals? GOLD, GOLD, and GOLD, that’s how.  She earned a gold medal at the World Cup Final to end 2016 and then began her 2020 vision with a win in India last 24 days ago.  Now this.

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“I still get the thrill of the victory when it happens,” Rhode confessed after the medal ceremony. “This place especially, it just feels like home. The weather, the hot temperature and California being just one hour away. It’s always great to win here in Acapulco.”

Rhode qualified for the Finals with the fourth-best score, connecting on 70 of 75 targets thrown. She missed two of her first 10 targets in the Final and then turned it on, crushing her next 28 targets straight.  During that same stretch, Connor would miss five.  Connor, who was the day’s top qualifier at 72, would make it close in the end, missing just once over the final 22 targets to fall one target short of Rhode for today’s top spot.  This is Connor’s fourth World Cup medal – all silver – with three defeats coming by way of Rhode.

The young Jacob has now been to two World Cup events, earning bronze in her first one and finishing fourth in the second.  She shot a 69 in qualifying and was perfect in a four-person shoot-off to get into the Final.  She would finish three targets out of bronze but with a Junior World Record in hand, after a tough middle stretch in which she missed six of 17 targets.  China’s Cao Yi would earn the bronze.

 

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Saturday’s performance once again highlights a strength of the USA Shooting Team. Since 2013, over the span of 14 World Cups, there’s been just three events in which an American hasn’t been on the podium.  During that stretch, there’s been four times there’s been at least two U.S. skeet women on the podium at the same time.

“Our team is surely among the top teams in the world, and what I think it makes it unique is the depth,” Rhode said. “With Caitlin, Katie and Morgan [Craft], we always have each other’s back, and we’re always pushing each other to get better every day.”

Men’s Skeet will conclude competition in Acapulco Sunday with Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) and Will Thomas (West Des Moines, Iowa) representing Team USA.  Thompson sits 10th with a 71/74 after three of five rounds.  Thomas is currently 20th with a 70.

WOMEN’S RESULTS:  QUALIFICATION | FINALS

WOMEN’S SKEET FINALS REPLAY

MEN’S RESULTS:  QUALIFICATION


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