Colorado Springs, CO -(AmmoLand.com)- Olympic champions and good friends Matt Emmons and Vincent Hancock took to the ranges of the Deodora Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hoping to pass their Olympic pre-test.
After a silver medal under extreme heat, Emmons left satisfied while Hancock will hope to exact some revenge when it really matters in August after a fifth-place result.
Emmons (Browns Mill, New Jersey) hopes to find that same success come August in pursuit of his fourth Olympic medal and will use the final three months trying to ensure the results are similar but that the anthem is the Star-Spangled Banner and with a medal finished in gold instead.
Emmons was tied with Russia’s Sergey Kamenskiy as today’s top qualifier in Three-Position Rifle behind a match-high 399/400 in the Prone position. He’d struggle out of the gate in the final, settling in a tie for seventh-place after the kneeling stage, but would then find his stride in Prone shooting a massive 157.7 (average of 10.51) to jump up to third. He would climb within .8 points of eventual winner Zicheng Hui of China on the penultimate shot before shooting a 9.8 compared to Hui’s 10.8. Hui would set a Finals World Record on his way to gold.
The medal in Rio is Matt’s second straight to start the season after winning gold in Bangkok last month. It is Emmons’ 42nd career World Cup medal and an impressive seventh since the start of the 2015 season. He also made Finals and finished sixth earlier in the week during the Prone Rifle event.
China’s Qinan Zhu would earn the bronze. Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) would finish 43rd after a score of 1153.
Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) qualified for the Final behind a score of 122/125 and ensuring his participation with a perfect 25 in his final round. He dropped two targets during the semis and would be forced to a shoot-off where he dropped one to be eliminated and finish fifth.
Later this summer, Hancock will try and become just the sixth American ever to earn a third consecutive gold medal in the same event. Before winning a second gold in London, he finished fourth at the pre-Olympic test event that year.
Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) couldn’t muster the big score final round he would need to get into the Finals and would have to settle for ninth place with a score of 120. Hayden Stewart (Columbia, Tennessee) dropped one target each of his first four rounds and would drop two in the fifth to finish at 119 and in 13th-place.
The U.S. finishes World Cup Rio with four medals, nine finalists and 17 top-10 performances. The next Rifle/Pistol World Cup is set for May 19-26 in Munich, Germany, while the nation’s top shotgun athletes get set to compete in the final stage of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, May 17-25.
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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.