U.S. Shooters Claim Eight Medals, Four Of Them Gold, At World Cup In Baku
by Bob Reinert
Vincent Hancock competes during the men's skeet finals at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on July 26, 2021 in Asaka, Saitama, Japan.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock won three events to lead Team USA to a tie for first place in the medals race at the ISSF World Cup that was held May 29-June 6 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Hancock, Caitlin Connor and 2020 U.S. Olympian Austen Smith all won multiple medals for the U.S. team, which tied South Korea with eight podium appearances. South Korea edged the U.S. in gold medals, 5-4.
Hancock, 33, of Eatonton, Georgia, and the 20-year-old Smith of Keller, Texas, closed the competition for the U.S. team on Monday by combining to win the skeet mixed team event. They outshot Germany in the gold-medal match.
On Sunday, both U.S. skeet shooting teams found themselves on the podium.
The U.S. team of Hancock, 2020 U.S. Olympian Phillip Jungman and Adam McBee defeated Greece in the gold-medal match to claim the men’s skeet team event.
In the women’s team skeet event, the U.S. trio of Connor, Smith and Dania Vizzi took the silver medal after losing to Germany in a gold medal match shoot-off.
Saturday featured individual skeet competitions, and the American team produced three medals in those two events.
Hancock shot his way to a gold medal in the men’s skeet event. Hancock, who has been competing for two decades, won Olympic gold in the event at Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Tokyo last year.
Two Americans claimed medals in the women’s skeet competition. Connor, the 2018 world champion, earned a silver medal. Connor, 31, is ranked No. 1 in the world. Taking the bronze medal was Smith.
Both American teams shot their way onto the podium on the May 31 team trap competitions.
In the women’s event, the Americans won the gold-medal match against Australia in a shoot-off. The U.S. team consisted of Aeriel Skinner, Kayle Browning and Rachel Tozier. The 29-year-old Browning won an Olympic silver medal last year in trap shooting. Tozier, 30, is a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
The men’s trap team of Derrick Mein, Will Hinton and Casey Wallace also collected a silver medal. They lost to Kuwait in the gold-medal final. The 26-year-old Mein was a 2020 U.S. Olympian. Hinton, 26, is another member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
The next ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun competition will take place July 9-22 in Changwon, South Korea.
Bob Reinert spent 17 years writing sports for The Boston Globe. He also served as a sports information director at Saint Anselm College and Phillips Exeter Academy. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.