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6 Americans Aim For Gold At Shotgun World Cup Final

By Scott McDonald | Oct. 10, 2016, 5:58 p.m. (ET)

Vincent Hancock shoots during a training session prior to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Shooting Centre on Aug. 4, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.


Just weeks after wrapping up the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the world’s top shotgun shooters are in Rome this week to compete in the sport’s other premiere event, the ISSF World Cup Final for Shotgun.

“The World Cup Final is the crème de la crème for all shooters,” said Kim Rhode, a six-time Olympic medalist for Team USA and only the second person to win an Olympic medal at six consecutive Games. “At the end of the day we’re all competitors, and I think we all want to get that gold at every cup.”

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Rhode said many of the Olympians haven’t had time for much practice since returning from Rio. She attended an event in Dallas one day and the next day was in New York ringing the bell for the New York Stock Exchange.

“With post-Olympics, there were a lot of events and media among all athletes and we’re not able to train as much as prior to the Olympics,” Rhode said. “I haven’t shot in a week.”

Despite the hectic schedules, six Americans will aim to bring home gold in shotgun’s next prestigious event. Nearly 60 athletes from 26 nations will compete this week. Host country Italy has the most athletes with 10, followed by Team USA’s six consisting of Rhode, Corey Cogdell-Unrein, Amber English, Katie Jacob, Vincent Hancock and Jeff Holguin.

To qualify for the World Cup Final, athletes had to earn points along the ISSF World Cup circuit that had stops this year in Nicosia (Cyprus), Rio de Janeiro, San Marino (San Marino) and Baku (Azerbaijan). Also qualified are medal winners from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and champions from the 2015 ISSF World Cup Final.

Amber English
Event: Women’s Skeet
Competes: Wednesday, Oct. 12
English won her first career world cup this year in Baku and finished fourth at the Rio world cup. Earlier this year she lost her father, Mike, who was an avid shooter. She returns to compete in the World Cup Final for the first time in six years.


Vincent Hancock
Event: Men’s Skeet
Competes: Wednesday, Oct. 12 (Day 1), Thursday, Oct. 13 (Final)
Hancock didn’t defend his back-to-back Olympic gold medals this summer in Rio, so he could have extra motivation to claim his first World Cup Final championship in Rome. He has placed second in the World Cup Final five times in five tries, and he earned bronze at the San Marino event this year.


Jeffrey Holguin
Event: Men’s Double Trap
Competes: Wednesday, Oct. 12
This is Holguin’s sixth World Cup Final appearance, having won gold in 2014 and bronze in 2009. He qualified for the 2016 final by winning silver in Nicosia. He recently finished one point behind five-time Olympian Glenn Eller at the Fall Selection Match and has earned a spot for the 2017 world cup selection, which means he’ll have his sights on next year’s world cup series as soon as this one ends.


Katie Jacob
Event: Women’s Skeet
Competes: Wednesday, Oct. 12
Jacob is a 17-year-old shooting star who’s rising through the ranks in a loaded American depth chart for skeet. She had a stellar 2016 that included a bronze at the Nicosia World Cup event and gold medal at the junior world cup in Suhl, Germany. She was crowned the U.S. junior national champion this year and will get a chance to compete in the 2017 world cup following her performance at nationals and the Fall Selection Match.


Kim Rhode
Event: Women’s Skeet
Competes: Wednesday, Oct. 12
Rhode competed in her first World Cup Final 21 years ago as a 16-year-old and returns for the first time since 2011, when she won gold. Rhode also won a bronze medal at the 2003 Rome World Cup Final and finished third at the recent Fall Selection Match in Kerrville, Texas. This year in Rio, she won Olympic bronze and world cup silver.


Corey Cogdell-Unrein
Event: Women’s Trap
Competes: Friday, Oct. 14
Cogdell-Unrein won her second career Olympic medal, a bronze, this summer in Rio, and she will compete in her sixth World Cup Final in Rome. She won silver in San Mairno earlier this year. She recently finished fourth at the Fall Selection Match and has earned a spot in at least one of three world cups in 2017.

Scott McDonald has 18 years experience in sports reporting. He was named the State Sports Writer of the Year in 2014 by the Texas High School Coaches Association. McDonald is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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