Sports

August 9, 2012

Soldier, Army spouse garner gold at summer Olympic games

Scout Reports

An Army Soldier became the first shotgun shooter to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in men’s skeet in London, and while her husband watched from his computer monitor, his spouse medaled with a gold in a rifle event.

In double record-setting fashion, Sgt. Vincent Hancock became the first shotgun shooter to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in men’s skeet, July 31, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.

Hancock, 23, a Soldier in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit from Eatonton, Ga., eclipsed his own records set at the 2008 Beijing Games for a new qualification record of 123 and total score of 148. He struck gold in China with a qualification score of 121 and total of 145.

Hancock prevailed by two shots over silver medalist Anders Golding (146) of Denmark and by four shots over Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiya (144), who secured the bronze medal by winning a shoot-off against Russia’s Valeriy Shomin, who is ranked No. 2 in the world.

“Being able to stand up there again and listen to the national anthem again, it’s got to be better,” said Hancock, who also holds the world records for skeet qualification (125) and final (150) scores. “It hasn’t set in fully yet, but going out there and doing it again and taking the opportunity God’s given me to get back out on the field to compete for the gold medal again, there’s just no feeling like it,” he said.

Hancock will leave the Army in November and open a shooting academy with his father to teach youngsters how to shoot.

“We’re trying to introduce people to this sport that I love so much. It’s given me my life that I have and the family that I know,” Hancock explained.

Hancock tipped his cap to the U.S. Army for its support.

“The Army has given me a sense of dedication to myself, to my country and to my servicemen that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else,” he said. “They’ve given me the opportunity to perform at this high level. There are so many things they’ve given me that I can’t explain it all because I don’t know how to put it in words.”

“They have made me into the man that I am today.”

Jamie Gray, wife of U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit shooter Staff Sgt. Hank Gray, won an Olympic gold medal in the women’s 50-meter three-positions rifle event Saturday, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.

U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program rifle coach Maj. Dave Johnson, who leads Team USA’s rifle shooters in London, coached Gray to the victory.

Gray established Olympic records in the qualification (592) and final (691.9) portions of the event, which includes shooting from prone, standing and kneeling positions.

On the next to last shot of the final round, Gray recorded her worst score (8.9) of the day, but she closed with her best shot (10.8) of the finale to seal the victory with a flourish.

Serbia’s Ivana Maksimovic (687.5) claimed the silver medal and the Czech Republic’s Adela Sykorova (683) took the bronze.




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