Olympic champ Hancock wins Men’s Skeet; India finish on top

Sports Reporter
Monday, 12 March 2018

Pune: Two time Olympic Champion Vincent Hancock of the USA won the Men’s Skeet competition on Sunday, the concluding event of the first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun stage, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Among the three Indian shooters in the fray, Smit Singh finished best shooting 116 in qualifying to place 15th, Angad Bajwa shot 115 to end in 18th spot while Sheeraz Sheikh secured 30th spot with a score of 112.

Pune: Two time Olympic Champion Vincent Hancock of the USA won the Men’s Skeet competition on Sunday, the concluding event of the first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun stage, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Among the three Indian shooters in the fray, Smit Singh finished best shooting 116 in qualifying to place 15th, Angad Bajwa shot 115 to end in 18th spot while Sheeraz Sheikh secured 30th spot with a score of 112.

India, however topped the medals tally for the very first time in an ISSF competition with four Gold, one Silver and four Bronze for a total of nine medals, also its best showing ever in ISSF competitions.

Hancock, who had won Gold in Men’s Skeet at the Beijing and London Olympics, had gone into a bit of a slump after winning the 2015 World Championships and completed a comeback of sorts into the winner’s circle with this win at Guadalajara.

He did it in style by first topping qualification with a sublime 123 out of 125 and then followed it up in the final, with a world record equaling 59 out of 60.

He was however matched by Paul Adams of Australia and finally got the better of him 6-5 in a shoot-off for Gold and Silver. Italy’s Tammaro Cassandro won Bronze with 49 hits in the final.
Smit was placed seventh in the beginning of the day and stood a chance of qualifying but rounds of 22,23 and 23 put paid to all such hopes.

Angad Bajwa was the best Indian shot of the day returning rounds of 24, 25 and 24 but he had dropped too far behind on day one of qualifying and Sheeraz Sheikh did not look in his elements in this competition.

The Indian contingent will however leave Guadalajara a happy lot as for the first time in the history of the sport, they have emerged triumphant in a world event and had become the talk of the competition thanks mainly to the exploits of young guns like Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Akhil Sheoran, Om Prakash Mitharval, Anjum Moudgil and Mehuli Ghosh.

There were also facile performances from senior stars like Jitu Rai, Ravi Kumar and even Sanjeev Rajput for that matter who did not win a medal, but shot very well to just miss out and finish fourth.

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