LONDON — China won the first gold medal of the Olympic Games on Saturday morning in women’s shooting, and the United States, a favorite in the sport, walked away empty handed.
Yi Siling of China won a gold medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle with Sylwia Bogacka of Poland earning silver and Yu Dan winning bronze.
Jamie Gray and Sarah Scherer and of the United States advanced to the finals, but trailed the Chinese and Eastern European shooters heading into the final shots. They finished in fifth and seventh place respectively in the final.
Saturday’s competition here marked Scherer’s debut at the Olympics and Gray came in fourth place in the event in 2008 and was first in the event at the U.S. Olympic team trials this year.
Scherer’s brother, Stephen, competed as a shooter in the 2008 Olympics. She hails from Woburn, Mass. She came in second place at the Olympic trials in air rifle and was a gold medalist in the event at the World Cup Changwon. The 21-year-old is a student at Texas Christian University.
Gray, of Lebanon, Pa., works as a technical coach for the rifle team at Columbus State University.
Then, there was Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, a Malaysian shooter who competed eight months pregnant on Saturday. She finished 34th in the qualifying round.
“Baby is quite fine,” she said. “She hasn’t made an appearance during training or competition. I told her to behave herself. I felt only three or four kicks during the competition. When she kicked I tried to breathe in, breathe out and make myself calm.”