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Hancock strikes gold in skeet at ISSF World Cup

Vincent Hancock won the gold medal in skeet at the ISSF World Cup in Siġġiewi.

Vincent Hancock won the gold medal in skeet at the ISSF World Cup in Siġġiewi.

Vincent Hancock underlined his status as the best skeet shooter on the international scene when the American took the gold medal in the ISSF World Cup in Siġġiewi on Saturday. 

It was an impressive performance from the 29-year-old who fended off the strong challenge of Egyptian shooter Azmy Mehelba and Gabriele Rossetti of Italy to secure his third successive victory in an ISSF World Cup this year.

Hancock, who in April had also topped the World Cup shoot in Changwon, South Korea, had always looked a strong contender to win his 10th gold medal in the prestigious competition, after finishing the qualifying round in second place with 123 points following scores of 24, 25, 25, 25 and 24.

Anton Astakhov had topped the leaderboard after the opening five rounds with 124 points while his Russian compatriot Yaroslav Startsev was third on 122.

Olympic champion Gabriele Rossetti (121), France Eric Delaunay (121) and Mehelba (121) were the other shooters making the final.

The battle for the gold medal turned out to be a tight affair with Hancock and Mehelba producing an exciting duel with the American managing to hold his emotions in check to take the title with a  score of 56, two clear of his Egyptian rival. Rossetti took bronze with 45.

Malta’s Darren Vella finished 51st from 101 shooters on 110, Bozhidar Dimitrov was was 84th on 103 while Marlon Attard managed 97 to finish 95th.

The ISSF World Cup resumes on Monday with the women’s trap. Here Malta will be represented for the first time by Mikaela Galea.

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