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Hancock wins Skeet final and makes it to the US team for Rio 2016: “I want my 3rd Olympic Gold in a row”
ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol / Shotgun · Gabala, AZE
Two-time Olympic champion Vincent Hancock (USA) won today's Skeet Men final in Gabala, securing a spot in the US Olympic team for Rio 2016. His final goal is set: winning the third Olympic title in a row, something never achieved by a shotgun shooter before.
The 2008 and 2012 Olympic Champion Vincent Hancock of USA (26) won today's Skeet Men final at the ISSF World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan, making the US team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
World's #1 skeet shooter sets his sights on the next Games, with a clear goal: winning his third Olympic title in a row, something that no shotgun shooter has ever achieved.
“This victory jut put me on the US Olympic team for 2016. And I really want to shoot my third gold medal in a row at the Olympics.” Hancock confirmed right after the match.
“The training for Rio 2016 has already started a couple of years ago. But now I actually know that I am going to be there, so I can start planning what matches I am going to be going to, so that I can peak at the perfect spot: at the Games.”
“It has been been an amazing experience here. It was a long trip getting to Gabala, but having another gold medal is certainly what I came here for.” Added the American champion.
Hancock qualified with an almost-perfect score of 124 hits, missing only his very first target on day-1. At the semi-final, he cleared the round with a perfect 16, advancing to the Gold medal match where he met Austria's Sebastian Kuntschik (26). The two athletes competed neck and neck right to the last shot, missing one target each and ending up with a tie score of 15 his. In the following shoot-off for the highest step of the podium, Hancock prevailed hitting 6 targets to Kuntschik's 5, and collected his seventh ISSF World Cup Gold since 2005.
“I will be at the ISSF World Championships in September,” Hancock said, speaking about his road to Rio. “And then I qualified for the ISSF World Cup Finals in October. I have an opportunity to try to win my first gold medal at a world cup final: I have shot it four times, and I have four silvers. It's time to go for it.”
“But nothing really means anything until we get to Rio.” The two-time Olympic champion added. “That's my ultimate goal, that's what I want. I want to get another Olympic Gold medal.”
Kuntschik (26), ranked 31st in the world, secured Silver (his best ISSF placement ever) and collected an Olympic Quota for his country.
In the race for the Bronze, it was Italy's Gabriele Rossetti (20) who stood out, making it to the third step of the podium with a perfect score of 16 hits in the medal match. The 2014 Junior Wolrd Champion, at his second participation in a world cup stage among senior athletes, qualified with 123 hits. He then cleared the semi-final by shuttering 15 targets, and left few chances to the 2014 African Champion Azmy Mehelba of Egypt (24), outscoring him 16 to 15 hits in the medal match.
Following the medallists, Argentina's Federico Gil (27) secured a Rio 2016 Olympic berth by finishing in fifth place with 14+6 hits in the semi-final, after qualifying with 123 hits. Ranked 20th in the world, Gil marked his best ISSF placement ever, today. He was followed by the gold medallist of this year's ISSF World Cup Stage in Larnaca (CYP), Saif Bin Futtais of the United Arab Emirates (41), who made it to today's semi-final with 124 hits after five great qualification series. But the 2014 Asian Champion eventually lost his pace during the final phase of the competition, missing 4 semi-final targets and finishing in sixth place with 12 hits.
The 2015 ISSF Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun World Cup in Gabala, which sees the participation of 1100 athletes from 90 countries, will continue tomorrow with the men's and women's 10m Air Rifle finals, taking place at 14.30 and 19.00 (GMT +5), respectively. The finals will be broadcasted live on www.issf-sports.org