McKenna Dahl Wins Bronze in 10M Air Rifle at Paralympic Games

McKenna Dahl made history on September 13 2016, when she became the first woman ever to win a Paralympic medal in Shooting for the United States. She won bronze in the R5 (Mixed 10M Air Rifle Prone SH2) event at the Centro Nacional de Tiro Esportivo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dahl (Arlington, Washington), the youngest at age 20 and the only woman in the field of the eight finalists, qualified for the Final in third place with a score of 635.4. In the Finals, the top eight shooters from Qualification all start at zero. Dahl lead early from the start of the Finals match, not wavering out of the top-three shooters in this tight contest.

When it came to the elimination shot for the bronze-medal position (the 18 th shot of the match), Dahl was in second place and shot a 10.3. The then third-place athlete – Geunsoo Kim of South Korea – shot a 10.8 to move ahead of Dahl where she would claim the bronze medal.

“It’s overwhelming!” said Dahl. “I knew about half way thought the Final that I was in contention for a medal and I was probably going to succeed in doing so. A lot of it was really just shot process and breathing, keeping everything together and doing what I needed to do.”

During her pre-event training, Dahl had noted some issues with her rifle’s sights and did a complete replacement of her sights in the middle of the hour-long training session.

“I had some issues with my sights sticking early on and about half way through the PET, they started sticking again so Armando [Ayala, Paralympic Assistant Coach] brought a new sight and we changed it out. I named it ‘Aaron’ to get to know it better and become comfortable with it so I had a date with Aaron today and it went pretty well!” she laughed.

Dahl’s medal win marks the first U.S. Paralympic Games medal in Shooting since Dan Jordan won silver in Men’s Three-Position Rifle in 2004. Roger Withrow – the only U.S. Paralympic Games gold medal winner in Shooting – won gold in the Air Rifle Prone event in 1984.

For complete results from the Mixed 10M Air Rifle Prone SH2 event, please visit: https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/shooting-r5-mixed-10m-air-rifle-prone-sh2-final.

For complete results from the Shooting competition at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, please visit: https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/shooting.

Story and photograph courtesy of USA Shooting.