Virginia Thrasher wins the first gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics (Photo)

Us teenager has won the first has won the first gold medal of the Rio games by edging out Chinese veterans Du Li and Yi Siling in Women’s 10m air rifle.

Virginia Thrasher, a 19-year-old West Virginia University sophomore, won the women's 10-meter air rifle event on Saturday morning at the Olympic Shooting Center in Rio's Deodoro neighborhood, edging out silver medalist Du Li of China.

Thrasher finished with a final score of 208, a full point ahead of Li. Yi Siling bowed out in third place at 185.4. This is the first time an American has medaled in the 10m air rifle event since Nancy Johnson won gold in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

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In an interview with the Associated Press, Thrasher said, "This is beyond my wildest dreams. I knew it was a realistic expectation for me to get into the finals and once you get into the finals, anything can happen. For me, this year has been incredible."

The West Virginia native burst onto the competitive shooting scene in 2015 when she took home five medals at the USA Shooting National Championships.

As a freshman at West Virginia University, Thrasher led the Mountaineers to their 18th NCAA team rifle championship, and also won individual titles in smallbore and air rifle.


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