LONDON – Spokane’s Amanda Furrer may not be leaving the Royal Artillery Barracks in London with a medal, but the Olympic shooter will go home with a lot of great memories.
Furrer competed Saturday in the women’s 50-meter rifle, three-position event. She finished in 15th place, a couple of targets short of making it into a shoot-off to try to advance into the final eight.
“It was a lot of fun, actually,” said the 21-year-old, who attends Ohio State University. “I thought that I was going to be way more nervous than I really was. I’ve been anticipating it for the last few weeks and a little bit nervous in the past few days, but coming in today I felt surprisingly calm and just ready to go. The conditions, they were tough today, but I knew exactly what I was doing. You get into position and it’s the same thing that you’ve done a thousand times before.”
Furrer had 581 points in the qualifying round – meaning she hit the 10.4 cm target 581 times out of 600 tries – 200 from each of three different positions. She scored 196 prone, then 189 standing, and finally 196 kneeling.
“I’ve been called a comeback queen just because sometimes if I tend to not do so well in standing I can come back kneeling, because I’ve always been a pretty good kneeling shooter,” she said. “I knew that I had dropped a couple more than I wanted to in standing, but I also knew that I could come back and still have a great score altogether. So I just buckled down and shot that kneeling and it turned out pretty good.”
The competition was won by her teammate and good friend Jamie Gray. Her score of 691.9 included a 99.9 in the final round, setting an Olympic finals record as she walked away with a 4.4 point advantage over silver medalist Ivana Maksimovic of Serbia, who finished with a 687.5. The bronze medal was won by Adela Sykorova of the Czech Republic with a 683.0.
Furrer – who began shooting at 11 years old as member of the Spokane Junior Rifle Team where her dad Mike was a coach – was full of praise for Gray.
“She put up an amazing score today – an Olympic record, I am so proud of her. I look up to her as a shooter. She puts in a lot of hard work. It’s good to see one of my teammates that’s worked for it succeed.”
As for the Mead High gradf, who was an alternate for the U.S. team that went to Beijing, she admitted, “There was a couple of bad shots I wish I could take back.
“But I mean that happens, you can’t fix it, so I’m pretty comfortable about it. I feel good. I know my potential. I know that I could have been right in there with those girls. This is my first Olympics and I’m proud of my performance. And I’m glad that I could just go in there and put up a decent score. It wasn’t the best that I could shoot, but it wasn’t bad, either.”
A 5-foot-6, 123 pound Twitter afficianado, Furrer already has her sights set on the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro – where she made her international debut at the 2007 Pan American Games and won a bronze medal.
“I think that coming around in 2016 I can be up there with the rest of them,” she said.