Aeriel Skinner competes in the women's trap final at the ISSF World Cup on March 5, 2018 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Three-time Olympian Vincent Hancock has won two Olympic gold medals and four world championships, but he’ll have to wait a little longer for his first ISSF World Cup Final gold.
That’s not the case for Aeriel Skinner, however, who won the top place in the women’s trap event on Saturday in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Her gold, Hancock’s silver in men’s skeet and Amber English’s bronze in women’s skeet made it a three-medal day for the U.S.
Skinner, from Jackson, California, was in fifth place after day one but just three points out of the lead. She made it through to the final in last place, but once there she got the job done and earned not only her first world cup final medal but also her first gold in a world cup event.
Skinner reached the podium for the first time this season hitting 43 out of 50 targets in Saturday’s final. Over the final 25 targets she missed just three times, beating day one leader Laetisha Scanlan of Australia by two shots.
Ashley Carroll also made the final and finished fifth.
For most of the men’s skeet final, it appeared Hancock was going to get his first gold in seven world cup final appearances to go along with the five silver medals already won.
Through 50 targets, both he and Italy’s Luigi Lodde were perfect as the competitors around them fell away. Egypt’s Azmy Mehelba won bronze with just one miss as the two continued the battle for gold, but on the 54th target Hancock missed. His coach challenged but the verdict held, leaving it to Lodde to miss over the final six targets and he did not. Hancock won the silver with 59 targets and Lodde equaled a world record in his victory with 60 out of 60.
In women’s skeet, Caitlin Connor shared the top of the leaderboard with Kim Rhode after day one with scores of 74 out of 75. English was tied for third hitting 72 targets. After Saturday’s qualification, however, only Connor and English made it through to the final.
Once there, English turned in a strong performance, missing just twice in her first 40 shots, but Great Britain’s Amber Hill missed just one and China’s Wei Meng was perfect. Meng went on to win the gold medal with a world-record 59 out of 60 targets made, Hill won silver with a score of 55 of 60 and English took the bronze with 47 out of 50. Connor finished in sixth.