The Final Day of Shooting Events for the Pan American Games
GUADALAJARA, Mex. (October 22, 2011)
Team USA wrapped up the Pan American shooting events Oct. 22 with finals in Women’s 50m Three Position Rifle, Men’s Skeet and Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. The USA took home three medals in the three events. Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.), the 2008 Olympic Games champion in Men’s Skeet, was determined to win. Hancock, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) set the Pan American record in 2007 and did so again today with 147 total targets. “It was a great feeling to get back onto the podium,” said Hancock. “It was a good stepping stone as I prepare for the second part of our U.S. Olympic Trials and gave me the confidence that I will need on my personal journey to London. I’d like to thank the USAMU and my wife Rebecca and daughter Bailey for supporting me.” Teammate Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.) shot 118 targets to qualify for a five-way shoot off for only one position in the final. After three targets, Thompson finished tenth overall.
Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) set a new Pan American record and won the gold medal in Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol with 24 hits. He qualified for the first position in the final with 579 match points. This was the first time that the new finals format was implemented at the Pan American Games. “It was a tough competition because I had to overcome myself mentally,” said Milev. In the final, another competitor received a two point deduction for moving his arm prior to the green light. Despite being “extra cautious” after the first incident, Milev was also docked two points for moving his arm, yet prevailed with the gold. “I’ve had a wonderful experience in my first Pan American Games—even though we are competing in individual events, we are very much a united team cheering on each other,” said an elated Milev. The silver medalist was Juan Perez of Cuba with 23 hits and the bronze medalist was Franco Di Mauro of Venezuela with 19 hits.
Finally, Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.) emerged with the bronze medal in Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position. Beard shot 571 match points and 96.4 points in the final for 677.4 total points. “It wasn’t the result or performance that I wanted, but I learned a lot from this competition,” said Beard. Her bronze was also the first international medal to her name and she is “proud of it regardless.” She continued to comment on the experience as she said, “The Pan American Games have been wonderful—I have enjoyed my time in Mexico, the range and the intercultural atmosphere.” The gold medalist was Dianelys Perez of Cuba with 671.6 total points. Cuban teammate Eglys de la Cruz finished with the silver medal and 670.3 total points. The American shooting athletes leave Guadalajara, Mexico, the most accomplished team with 18 total medals—10 gold, four silver and four bronze. The team also set six qualification records, equaled three qualification records, set eight new final records and equaled one final record for a very successful showing.
Please navigate to the official Pan American Games website for complete results. Highlights of the Pan American Games can be found at http://bit.ly/q4UwBR and http://es.pn/mW8QeW. For updates and news, please visit USA Shooting's Website, Facebook and Twitter.