Gold medal­ist has lo­cal ties

The Covington News - - Front Page -

LON­DON (AP) — Vin­cent Han­cock nearly re­tired from com­pe­ti­tion a year ago, then de­cided to chase an­other Olympic gold medal. Smart move.

At 23, Han­cock is a twotime Olympic cham­pion in men’s skeet shoot­ing, suc­cess­fully de­fend­ing his crown Tues­day with a score of 148 to take the top spot at the Lon­don Games.

An­ders Gold­ing of Den­mark fin­ished two tar­gets back to win the sil­ver, and Qatar’s Nasser Al-At­tiya won a shoot-off over Rus­sia’s Valery Shomin for the bronze.

“Be­ing able to stand back up there again and lis­ten to the na­tional an­them again, it’s got to be bet­ter,” said Han­cock, a U.S. Army sergeant and the first skeet shooter to win con­sec­u­tive Olympic ti­tles. “But it hasn’t set in fully yet.”

Han­cock’s win gave the U.S. a skeet sweep af­ter Kim­berly Rhode won the women’s com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier this week. Af­ter set­ting an Olympic record with a score of 123 out of a pos­si­ble 125 in qual­i­fy­ing Tues­day, Han­cock en­tered the medal round with a one­tar­get lead. When Gold­ing missed, Han­cock’s lead was two with seven tar­gets re­main­ing. In skeet, that’s mas­sive. “I had no chance,” Gold­ing said.

Han­cock was by far the youngest com­peti­tor in the fi­nal. At 23, he is five years younger than any­one else in the field and 14 years younger than the av­er­age of the medal-round qualifiers, who range from 28 to 43.

Han­cock clinched this win on his next-to-last shot, made his last for good mea­sure, then spun around and punched the air in cel­e­bra­tion.

USA’s Vin­cent Han­cock shoots dur­ing the men’s skeet event at the 2012 Sum­mer Olympics, Tues­day, July 31, 2012, in Lon­don. Han­cock fin­ished first to win the gold medal. (AP Photo/Re­becca Blackwell).

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