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HomeSportOlympics-Sharpshooter Hancock key to US hopes of spiking China's guns in Paris

Olympics-Sharpshooter Hancock key to US hopes of spiking China's guns in Paris

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By Amlan Chakraborty
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The United States will need Vincent Hancock to come out all guns blazing in their bid to upstage China at the Paris Olympics shooting range as the 35-year-old looks to become the first shooter to win the same individual event four times.

Hancock, regarded as the greatest skeet shooter of all time after his Olympic triumphs in Beijing, London and Tokyo, could add two more gold medals to his collection in Paris with the mixed team skeet event debuting at the National Shooting Centre in Chateauroux, some 270km south of the capital.

“Winning another gold, that's a goal and a dream,” multiple world champion Hancock told NBC ahead of his fifth Olympics appearance.

“It doesn't matter if it's your first, fourth or your fifth Olympics, it is still a dream. To do that you have to be almost perfect.”

China have topped the shooting medal tables at four of the last six Games and their 11 medals in Tokyo included four golds, one more than the U.S.

The introduction of the mixed team skeet event, in which Hancock will partner protege Austen Smith, may at least help the U.S. narrow that gap even if they fail to topple China.

The depth of China's shooting talent meant that even Yang Qian and Yang Haoran, who won three golds between them in Tokyo, had to make way for a clutch of younger world champions.

The onus will now be on the likes of teenaged duo Huang Yuting and Sheng Lihao to maintain China's dominance at the shooting range.

At 34, Li Yuehong will be the oldest member of China's shooting contingent. After taking bronze in the men's 25m rapid fire pistol at both Rio and Tokyo, Li has had to shake things up in his pursuit of gold in Paris.

“My two Olympic appearances were not bad but if breakthrough is what I am after, I have to make some changes,” the reigning world champion and world record holder said.

India will be sending their biggest Olympic shooting contingent to Paris, hoping that their quota of 20-odd places will translate into medals.

Combining results from the World Championship, the World Cups and the World Cup final in the preceding 12 months, China have been the dominant force while India have done marginally better than the U.S., according to International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) data shared with Reuters.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. INDIANEXPOSE holds no responsibilty for its content.

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