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This American Woman Soldier Set A New Shooting Record At The Tokyo Olympics Making All Of Us Proud

This American Woman Soldier Set A New Shooting Record At The Tokyo Olympics Making All Of Us Proud

First Lieutenant English shot a record-breaking 56 targets and in doing so defeated the reigning champion 2016's women's skeet gold medalist Diana Bacosi of Italy.

Cover image source: Facebook | U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

For Amber English, it was a long wait before she could participate in the Olympics at 31. That being said, it was totally worth it as the American shooter set an Olympic record in the women’s skeet shooting category at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday and walked away with a gold medal. 1st Lieutenant English shot a record-breaking 56 targets and in doing so defeated the reigning champion 2016's women's skeet gold medalist Diana Bacosi of Italy, according to Fox10.



 

 

Skeet shooting competition involves participants who use a shotgun in an attempt to break clay targets that are mechanically flung in the air. Both categories of participants, men and women, are instructed to fire from eight different locations that are called "stations." In a course of three days, there are five rounds where athletes take 25 shots each of them. Then the six best shooters are chosen who then move on to the medal round, as per Olympics.com. 



 

English's record-breaking win was a very tense moment as she earned the gold over Bacosi by scoring just one point more than her. Apparently, she only missed two of her last 30 targets and went on to make history. The win was much-awaited for the logistics officer in the US Army, who according to Yahoo! Sports narrowly missed out on making it to the Olympics in 2012. In 2016 she made the team as an alternate but didn't compete during the Olympics. Per reports, her father, Mike, tragically passed away that year and it severely affected her performance in the qualifiers and thus she ended up as an alternative.



 

Amid missing the opportunity to participate in the Olympics twice in a row and grieving her father's loss, English decided to channel her passion for shooting by serving her country. In 2017, she joined the military as a logistics officer and became a part of the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia, according to Christopher Adams of Military Family Magazine. Throughout her journey, she was surrounded by uplifting people who kept reassuring her that one day she would reach the Olympics. 



 

"One of the things I've learned since joining the military is that these people that I'm surrounded by, whether they're shooting or whether deployed, whatever their job is in the military, they still have to figure out how to get the job done," she told Adams. "I'm surrounded by enough people to have that support to go get it done. They've pushed me daily to be in that environment." After trained five to seven days every week from dawn to 4:30 p.m. to make her place in the US Olympic roster for 2020.

Five years later, English perfectly shot 47 of her first 50 targets and despite missing out on her final two, she secured first placed and her first gold medal. "I'm very, very glad. This has been a long time coming," said the athlete after her historic performance. "All the skeet shooters are very close, and we're just ready to keep it rolling." According to Business Insider, English is just one of nine US soldiers who are competing in the Olympics this year with the help of the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). This program allows soldiers to part take in sports at the international level. While the opportunity was an amazing one, English's military background surely helped her athletic career which ultimately brought her to Tokyo this year. 



 

 

Joining her on the medal podium was fellow American shooter Vincent Hancock, who also made history just one after English's performance. Hancock reportedly became the first skeet shooter to win three gold medals. "I love that girl like a sister, and now we both have medals around our neck," he said. "It sets the tone of what can happen at USA Shooting. Our athletes have been shooting at a really high level for quite a few years now. Because we're a small sport, we don't quite get the recognition, but looking at the number of medals we win on a yearly basis, it's impressive."

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