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U.S. shooters Hancock and English sweep in skeet

U.S. shooters Hancock and English sweep in skeet
Posted at 1:43 AM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 04:02:36-04

After a nine-year interruption, Vincent Hancock has regained his throne as the Olympic champion in men's skeet shooting, completing a U.S. double Monday after Amber English won the women's event.

The 2008 and 2012 gold medalist, also a four-time world champion, missed his 26th shot in the final. He didn't miss again, finishing with 59 out of 60 to pull away from Denmark's Jesper Hansen and put to rest any lingering thoughts of his 15th-place finish in Rio.

The bronze medal went to 57-year-old Kuwaiti Abdullah Al-Rashidi, a seven-time Olympian who also took bronze in Rio. He competed that year under the Independent Olympic Athlete banner because the Kuwait Olympic Committee was suspended. In Rio, he also gained notice for wearing the jersey of English soccer club Arsenal, though he claimed he was unaware that the team was named "The Gunners."

Hancock nearly missed the final. He hit all 100 shots over four series of 25 shots each in qualifying, but he missed three times in the last sequence to finish with 122. He advanced in a shootoff -- oddly enough, along with the other eventual medalists, Hansen and Al-Rashidi.

The 32-year-old American, who won his first gold medal at age 19, was already the only shooter to win the men's skeet event twice.

In the women's event, English outlasted defending champion Diana Bacosi of Italy and world record-holder Wei Meng of China.

 

Bacosi held a one-shot lead through the middle of the contest but missed a couple of times down the stretch while English stayed consistent. The 31-year-old U.S. shooter's final score of 56 out of a possible 60 is three points off the world record held by Meng.

Meng, who hit 46 of 50 shots in the final to take bronze, led the qualifying rounds with a score of 124 of a possible 125. Bacosi was second with a score of 123. English was tied for fifth after missing three shots on the first day of qualifying but knocked down 49 of 50 on the second day to finish with 121 and make the six-shooter final.

English, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, was ranked 24th in June despite a third-place finish in the 2018 World Championships. 

U.S. women have now earned medals in this event in four consecutive Olympics. Kim Rhode won silver in 2008, gold in 2012 and bronze in 2016.