By Amlan Chakraborty
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Cementing legacy will be on the mind of a select group of Olympic shooters, including an American trio, when they arrive at next month’s Rio de Janeiro Games with all guns blazing.
Californian shotgun shooter Kim Rhode, who boasts a collection of over 5,000 first-edition children’s books, has a similar appetite for Olympic medals.
The 37-year-old has already established herself the most successful female shooter in Olympic history with three golds and five medals in total.
A serious hip injury has meant lighter training but Rhode is shrugging it off as she heads into her sixth Games.
“I’m not quite there, but I’m getting there,” said Rhode, who won double trap golds at Atlanta (1996) and Athens (2004) and topped women’s skeet in London four years ago.
Compatriot Vincent Hancock, winner of the men’s skeet at the last two Games, will also hope to maintain his golden streak.
Hancock loves to win in style — he set a new Olympic record at Beijing and bettered it at London — and recent form favors the 27-year-old to complete a golden hat-trick at the Shooting Centre in the Olympic Deodoro complex.
“In the grand scheme of things, there is only one match that I look for every four years and it’s the Olympics,” Hancock told the International Shooting Sport Federation website.
South Korean Jin Jong-oh will also aim for his slice of history at the Rio Games.
The 36-year-old is one of the Olympics’ most decorated pistol shooters, having won the 50 meter titles at Beijing and London and also the 10m air pistol event four years ago.
American Matt Emmons is another to watch and boasts a colorful record of achievement.
The 35-year-old rifle shooter won the 50m rifle prone gold at the 2004 Games with a borrowed weapon and famously hit a wrong target in an adjoining lane to miss out on the 50m three positions gold in Athens.
He returned in Beijing to take the 50m prone silver and picked up the three positions bronze in London. He remains on track to clinch a fourth Olympic medal.
China’s women have shown hot hands at Olympic shooting and will be spearheaded by Guo Wenjun, who will seek her third Olympic gold in the 10m air pistol.
Compatriot Yi Siling eyes a second 10m air rifle gold.
(Editing by Ian Ransom)