Gold medals are nothing new to Vincent Hancock, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t want to start the 2019 international season the way he ended 2018.
The 30-year-old reigning world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist won the season-opening men’s skeet shooting world cup in perfect fashion, equaling a finals world record by going 60 for 60 on Monday in Acapulco, Mexico. The win marks his 20th world cup medal.
The three-time Olympian went head-to-head with Argentina’s Federico Gil to start the final. Gil missed first, blinking midway through the final, while Hancock was perfect through the first 30.
He remained that way the remainder of the competition to finish 60 for 60 after qualifying in first place with a perfect score of 125 of 125, which equaled the qualification world record he first matched on March 9, 2015. Seven shooters have equaled the 125 world record but Hancock is only the second to shoot 60 for 60.
Gil ended in fourth place with Italy’s Gabriele Rossetti finishing in second with a score of 58. Jakub Tomecek, of the Czech Republic, was third with a score of 49.
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In 2015 Hancock became the first American shotgun shooter to win three world championship titles. Last fall he won his fourth world title in near-perfect fashion, hitting 125 of 125 targets in qualification and then missing only once in the final to earn a decisive victory. He became the first men’s skeet shooter of any nation to reach four world titles.
Monday’s skeet event wraps up this world cup stop. Hancock and Kim Rhode each took home gold medals in the skeet events while Kayle Browning and Brian Burrows picked up a silver medal in trap mixed team. World cup shotgun action continues April 5 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.