Rome –-(Ammoland.com)- The final international event of a long 2016 shooting season is upon us with the start of the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup Final (WCF) for Shotgun getting underway Wednesday in Rome, Italy.
Six U.S. athletes will compete including recent Olympic medalists Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska), Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) as well as two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) and 2008 Olympian Jeff Holguin (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Yorba Linda, California). Women’s skeet competitors and 2016 World Cup medal winners Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) are set to join Rhode in the competition.
Six U.S. athletes just wrapped up competition in Bologna, Italy for the Rifle/Pistol portion of World Cup Final with the team bringing home four medals. Michael McPhail (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Darlington, Wisconsin) earned a second consecutive globe trophy as the winner in Prone Rifle. He was joined on the podium by Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey) who earned bronze and then earned the same spot on the podium three days later in Three-Position Rifle. Nineteen-year-old Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) would back up her Olympic gold medal with another strong international performance, finishing with a bronze in Air Rifle.
This will be the sixth World Cup Final for Cogdell-Unrein, having finished no higher than seventh. The 30-year-old Trap shooter is brimming with confidence after earning a second career Olympic medal with another bronze in Rio. She recently finished fourth at USA Shooting’s Fall Selection Match, and earned herself a spot in at least at one of three World Cups in 2017.
Rhode competed in her first World Cup Final 21 years ago, and is set to make a return appearance for the first time since 2011. Her impressive career resume includes four WCF medals, including gold in that last visit in 2011. In a previous WCF trip to Rome in 2003, she earned bronze. Rhode has been especially busy following a sixth consecutive Olympic triumph in which she became only the second Olympian ever to earn six medals in six consecutive Olympic Games. She competed at the recent Fall Selection match as well, finishing third. She rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange last Monday before departing for Rome on Saturday. Rio was particularly good to Rhode in 2016 having earned Olympic bronze and World Cup silver there.
The pain of the not defending his back-to-back Olympic gold medals won’t subside anytime soon for Hancock, but getting his first globe trophy victory might help. That’s what he’ll be in pursuit of this week. He’s been a mainstay on the WCF podium since 2005, earning five second-place finishes in five appearances. He’s enjoyed some success on the Rome range having placed second at the 2005 World Cup. This will be Hancock’s first competitive match since Rio and will be looking to cap off a season that included a bronze-medal finish in San Marino.
Holguin is making his sixth appearance at a World Cup Final having earned two medals previously, including gold in 2014 and bronze in 2009. A World Cup silver medal in Nicosia, Cyprus helped get him into the prestigious field of competitors. He recently competed at Fall Selection Match, finishing one-point behind winner Glenn Eller for the match. He still earned the top spot for overall 2017 World Cup selection, however, meaning he’ll get his pick on two of the three World Cups next year.
After a six-year absence, English makes her return to a World Cup Final. She finished eighth in her previous experience in 2008 in Izmir, Turkey. English won her first career World Cup earlier this season in Baku, Azerbaijan and had a fourth-place result at the Rio de Janeiro World Cup. The results are particularly impressive after the loss her father, Mike, earlier this year.
The seventeen-year-old Jacob is the third representative in Women’s Skeet showcasing the depth and power of America’s skeet class. Jacob is a rising star among them having showcased her skills by earning a bronze medal in the first World Cup career in Nicosia, Cyprus. All she did to follow that up was earn a gold medal at the Junior World Cup in Suhl, win the National Junior Olympics and be crowned Junior National Champion. Additionally, she’ll get at least one chance to compete in a 2017 World Cup following her performance at Nationals and Fall Selection Match.
Go to the ISSF website for full results and to watch the action live as it happens.
World Cup Final Schedule
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