Olympic champion Vincent Hancock of the United States claimed his second world title as he took gold in the men’s skeet event on the final day of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Championships in Lonato.
Hancock was locked in a fascinating battle with Frenchman Anthony Terras in the final as both shooters hit all 16 targets, sending the contest into a shoot-off.
But it was the 26-year-old American who held his nerve as Terras missed his eighth shot, enabling Hancock to continue his recent dominance of the event.
Italy’s Gabriele Rossetti rounded off the podium as he clinched bronze by beating Denmark’s Jesper Hansen.
“Getting into the final is hard by itself, and once I am in the final and in the medal match it's a little bit easier for me, as it takes a bit of pressure off," the American said.
"It's still pretty exciting to shoot for the gold though.
“This medal gets me closer to my aim: winning another Olympic title.
“This medal makes me realise that I shot really well this year.
“I have to make some adjustments, my peak was at the ISSF World Cups in Acapulco and Gabala - I have to work to peak right in time for Rio.
“Comparing my first World Championship victory in 2005 and today's final, I feel like I am a completely different person.
“If you watch my shooting style, I don't think I shoot very much the same at all.
“I made a lot of changes since then, and I have found my way.”
The last competition at the event in Lonato provided the crowd inside the venue with high drama throughout as Terras, bronze medallist at the 2008 Olympic Games, equalled the world record of 125 hits in the qualification round before continuing his perfect performance with 16 targets in the semi-final.
Hancock was able to match the Frenchman, with Rossetti, reigning world and European champion at junior level, not far behind.
But Hancock and Terras proved too strong for the rest of the field and after being locked at 16-all, the Frenchman missed the target to hand the world title to the American for the first time in 10 years.
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