An Army officer earned the gold medal in women’s shotgun skeet shooting at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, becoming the first U.S. service member to win the top prize at the Summer Games.
First Lt. Amber English, a member of the Army Marksmanship Unit and logistics officer, defeated Italy’s Diana Bacosi, who won the women’s skeet gold medal in 2016.
“Sharp shooting! Amber English wins gold with an Olympic Record of 56 in the women’s skeet final after a nail-biting ending,” the official Twitter account for the Olympics tweeted early Monday morning.
Born in Colorado Springs, Colo., 31-year-old English struck 56 of 60 targets during the event, just three short of the world record. Wei Meng of China, who previously set the world record, earned the bronze medal Monday.
According to NBC 4, English was ranked 24th in June despite taking third place in the 2018 World Championships.
“All I could control was just my own shooting and my own emotions,” English told reporters after securing the gold.
Skeet shooting always comes down to the last shot, English continued, adding that she was “fortunate to be able to put it together at the right time.”
In video of the event, English, wearing a blue baseball cap with an American flag and USA emblazoned across the top, is seen missing her final shot, but as the announcers says, “she didn’t really need it.”
“Amber English, the 31-year-old Colorado Spring native, in her Olympic debut, climbs to the top of the podium in Tokyo in women’s skeet,” the announcer continues.
“Record breaking performance! Congratulations to Soldier-athlete 1st Lt. Amber English for bringing home #Gold,” the U.S. Army tweeted.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also tweeted his congratulations.
“A huge congratulations to @USArmy 1st Lt. Amber English on not only winning a gold medal in skeet shooting, but also setting an Olympic record. Your country is extremely proud of you today, and I’m so glad you’re representing us. #Tokyo2020,” he tweeted.
“A HUGE congratulations to 1st Lt. Amber English on winning the Gold Medal in Women’s Skeet at the Tokyo Olympics!#thisismysquad#homeofchampions#usarmysoldier,” U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit wrote on Facebook.
Team USA women have earned medals in skeet shooting in the last four Summer Olympics. Kim Rhode earned silver in 2008, gold in 2012, and bronze in 2016.