COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (October 9, 2018) – For the second time in four months, a USA Shooting Team athlete is being recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee for top monthly honors. A standout performance at last month’s World Championship has earned Caitlin Connor the distinction of being honored as the Best of September female athlete for Team USA Awards presented by Dow.
Vincent Hancock has twice earned top male honors since the USOC revamped the monthly recognition beginning in 2015 with monthly top honors in March 2015 and June 2018. He was once again among the Finalists this month following his record-setting match at World Championships that led to a fourth world title. That top honor, however, went to USA Volleyball’s Matt Anderson. Connor is the first female shooter recognized for a Team USA award since the format revision.
This announcement happens on the day in which the USA Shooting community is celebrating 10.9 Day. Connor represents what that pursuit of excellence is all about. Learn more about USA Shooting’s #ten9day.
Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) won her first career international gold medal in skeet shooting at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships in Changwon, South Korea, defeating six-time Olympic medalist and U.S. teammate Kim Rhode in the final, 57-56. Connor and Rhode were tied going into to the last station of the final, when Connor edged her teammate by a single clay. With her gold-medal performance, Connor became the fourth consecutive U.S. women’s skeet athlete to win a world title.
With seven World Cup medals on her resume, Connor, now 27, has been a star on the USA Shooting Team for some time, just missing the 2016 Olympic Team after finishing second to Olympian Morgan Craft at the 2016 World Championships. Until Changwon, all seven of her international medals had been silver, all coming when her teammate Kim Rhode won gold.
“I knew I was going to win after the 30th target – if that makes any sense – so I kind of wanted to cry the whole time!” Connor said on the day she became World Champion. “I was pretty emotional during that Final because I’ve never had the feeling during a Final that I was going to win and the whole time I thought ‘I’m going to win this thing!’ I wanted to cry after my third pass through! I just kept thinking ‘Stay strong, focus on what you’re doing, and it will be fine.’”
An avid LSU Tigers fan, Connor began shooting at 15 years old in the 4-H program. Three years later, she took home her very first international medal from the Minsk World Cup.
For more, check out CONNOR’S VIDEO PROFILE
Joining Connor and Rhode on the podium in Korea was Amber English as the American’s swept the podium in Women’s Skeet. The last time the United States had swept an Open [adult] podium at a World Championship was in 1974 when John Writer, Lones Wigger and Lanny Bassham swept the 50m Men’s Three-Position Rifle podium in Thun, Switzerland.
About the Team USA Awards
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. An internal nominating committee selects five nominees from both the male and female categories, and three from the team category to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via TeamUSA.org/Awards.
ELEY is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Teams: ELEY Limited, manufacturer of the world’s most consistently accurate rimfire ammunition, has been the Official Sponsor and Official Supplier of .22 rimfire ammunition of the USA Shooting rifle and pistol teams since 2000. For more information on ELEY and their products, please visit eley.co.uk.
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