UK Athletics

Former Kentucky Wildcat Henri Junghänel wins Olympic gold in rifle

Former Kentucky Rifle standout Henri Junghänel won the gold medal in the 50-meter prone rifle event on Friday at the Rio Olympics.

Junghänel, who was a four-time All-American for the Wildcats from 2010-2013, broke the Olympic finals record with a score of 209.5. He surged from eighth in the qualifying round to take the gold for Germany.

“It’s overwhelming, especially after I missed the last Olympic Games by just a very little, so I already accomplished everything with standing here in the final," Junghänel told the International Shooting Sports Federation after the match. “I was really upset after the qualification because I did not shoot at my best. I made it into the final in last. So I tried to zero in and fight for a medal."

Junghänel, who graduated from UK with a degree in mechanical engineering, competed at his first Olympics. He was named 2013 ISSF Shooter of the Year. 

“I am very excited for Henri,” Kentucky head coach Harry Mullins said. “He is a great person, and I could not be happier for him. This medal is well deserved for the work and effort that Henri has put into the sport over his shooting career.

“While at Kentucky he showed us the passion and drive that it takes to be a champion. It was a pleasure having him on our team for three years. He is both a fierce competitor and a great person. Seeing him on the podium achieving his dream is what makes being around these athletes better than anything else."

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