Vincent Hancock (USAMU/Eatonton, Ga.) began the day with 50/50 targets in the second half of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) “London Prepares” World Cup Men’s Skeet match to earn a spot in the final. Hancock, the 2008 Olympic Games gold medalist, dropped his first target in the final for 24/25 targets to tie Norway’s Tore Brovold at 146 targets. In a heated shoot-off, Brovold gained the advantage and bronze medal with 10 targets to Hancock’s nine targets. Hancock finished fourth overall.

Hancock will return stateside to prepare for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Shotgun May 17-20 in Tucson, Ariz. As the current leader after the first round of Trials, he looks to gain a spot on what would be his second U.S. Olympic Team.

American teammate Jon Michael McGrath(Tulsa, Okla.) had a difficult fourth round with 22/25 targets to finish 15th overall with 119 targets. U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete BJ Blanchard (Vidor, Texas) shot 115 targets for 40th place.

Young Stefan Nilsson of Sweden earned his first-ever ISSF World Cup medal. Nilsson, who finished in the middle of the pack all last year, broke through with 123/125 match targets. Leading into the final, Nilsson didn’t look back, staying straight for the gold. The silver medalist was Mikola Milchev of the Ukraine. Milchev, the 2000 Olympic Games gold medalist, shot 122 match targets and another perfect final for 147 total targets.

In Men’s 10m Air Rifle, Americans and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team nominees Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.) and Jonathan Hall (Carrollton, Ga.) both finished in the middle of the field with 591/600 match points for 46th and 49th place respectively. Emmons will remain in London to prepare for the Men’s 50m Rifle Prone (April 24) and Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position (April 28) events.

The ISSF World Cup London continues tomorrow with competition in Women’s 25m Pistol. The USA’sSandra Uptagrafft (Navy/Phenix City, Ala.) will take the stage for her second event from the Royal Artillery Barracks.

All fifteen of the ISSF Olympic shooting events – in the disciplines of Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun shooting – will be conducted during the test event that runs through April 28.

The 2012 ISSF “London Prepares” World Cup schedule: 

Sunday, April 22              Women’s 25m Pistol

Monday, April 23            Men’s 50m Rifle Prone, Men’s Double Trap

Tuesday, April 24            Men’s 50m Rifle Prone, Men’s 50m Free Pistol

Wednesday, April 25     Men’s 50m Free Pistol, M/W Trap, Women’s 50m 3-position Rifle

Thursday, April 26          Women’s 50m 3P Rifle, Women’s Trap, Men’s Trap,

Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol

Friday, April 27                Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Men’s 50m 3-position Rifle, Men’s Trap

Saturday, April 28          Men’s 50m 3-position Rifle

* Bold/italics represent FINALS

There are a number of ways you can follow the action from London.  Tune-in through www.usashooting.org, Facebook, Twitter, on www.issf-sports.org andwww.youtube.com/issfchannel.

photo: USA Shooting

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