Colorado Springs, CO -(AmmoLand.com)- It would be trite to say “Third Time’s A Charm” about Vincent Hancock’s gold-medal win today at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Championship in Lonato, Italy.
Not only is this Hancock’s third World Championship title –he’s also the third athlete to ever win three Men’s Skeet World Championship gold medals, along with Jury Tsuranov of the former Soviet Union and Abdullah Alrashidi of Kuwait.
To top it off, today’s World Championship title also formally secured Hancock a nomination to his third Olympic Team where he hopes to win a third Olympic gold medal.
“Getting into the Final is hard by itself, and once I am in the Final and in the medal match it's a little bit easier for me as it takes a bit of pressure off. It's still pretty exciting to shoot for the gold though,” Hancock said. “This medal gets me closer to my aim: winning another Olympic title. This medal makes me realize that I shot really well this year. I have to make some adjustments – my peak was at the ISSF World Cups in Acapulco and Gabala – I have to work to peak right in time for Rio.”
Climbing to the top of the top of the medal podium was no easy task. Though Hancock shot a perfect 75 targets his first day of Qualification, he faltered slightly on the second day to finish with 122/125 targets, sending him to a six-way shootoff for the four remaining slots in the Final.
Once in the Final, Hancock was once again perfection. In the Semifinal round, he tied Anthony Terras of France at 16/16 targets. In the gold-medal match, Hancock and Terras would once again finish tied at 16/16 targets each. Terras had not missed a target the entire World Championship until the shootoff to tie Hancock’s world record of 157 targets. In the shootoff for the gold medal, however, Hancock would eventually best Terras, 8-7 – Terras missing on his 165th target.
“I feel sorry for Terras. I feel he deserved to win. Of course I would not let anybody else win if I get the chance, but he shot so well,” Hancock said. “He shot a perfect match. That's something I have already done before and trust me, it's not easy.”
Hancock is also the first American shotgun athlete to win three World Championship titles. Hancock even won it in the same place he won his first World Championship title 10 years ago at the age of 16.
Although Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) had mathematically secured his Olympic Team nomination via the USA Shooting Olympic points system after his gold-medal win at the ISSF World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan last month, the World Championship formally marked the end of the time period for athletes to earn points. Hancock’s 69 points placed him comfortably above the 30-point threshold to secure one of the two Olympic Team nominations in Men’s Skeet. The second slot will be filled following the two-part Olympic Trials process beginning in October.
For more information on the USA Shooting Olympic Team selection process and athletes who have secured their nominations via the points system, please visit http://www.usashooting.org/
Earlier this week, Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pennsylvania) had won the Women’s Skeet World Championship title to secure her Olympic Team nomination via the points system. This year marks the first time the U.S. has won both World Championship titles in Skeet in the same year.
Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas) finished just one target out of possible Finals contention with 121 targets, placing him in 11th place. T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas) finished in 55th place with 117 targets. Hancock, Perry and Bayer won a team bronze medal with their combined 360 targets.
Just minutes following the Men’s Skeet Final, the Junior Men’s Skeet Final took to the field with Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas, pictured right) easily advancing to the gold-medal round after hitting 15/16 targets in the Semifinal. Once in the gold-medal round, Valerio Palmucci would best Jungman for the gold medal by one target, 12-11.
Since Juniors began shooting in the ISSF World Championship in 1989, Jungman is the first American male to win two individual World Championship medals. He also won an individual bronze medal at the World Championship last year in Granada, Spain.
Zachary McBee (College Station, Texas) finished in 11th place in Junior Men’s Skeet with 116 targets and Christian Elliott (Greenwood, Indiana) finished in 16th place with 115 targets. Jungman, McBee and Elliott also won a team bronze medal with their combined 350 targets.
View complete results from the ISSF Shotgun World Championship here:http://www.issf-sports.org/
*Thanks to ISSF for providing editorial assistance and photos for this story.
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About USA Shooting:
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting’s mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country.