Sgt. Vincent Hancock, one of seven soldiers competing from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, set an Olympic record today when he became the first men's skeet shooter to win two gold medals in the event, officials said.
Hancock, 23, already had set a new Olympic record earlier today when he shot 123 out of 125 targets over the two-day qualification for the 2012 Olympics. He then shot 25 out of 25 in the finals, beating second-place Dutch shooter Anders Golding by two shots overall.
Hancock is now the first men's skeet shooter in Olympic history to win two gold medals, said Michael Molinaro, with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
"Everything felt great today," Hancock said Monday through the Army spokesman. "The weather was perfect, and I was seeing the targets really well."
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Hancock was the defending gold medalist in the event and set a new Olympic record, after winning his first gold medal four years ago in Beijing.
He's said he expected the same fierce competition in London.
Hancock was watched Monday by his wife, Rebekah, and youngest daughter, 5-month-old Brenlyn.
"I can't believe we're back at the Olympics again," Rebekah Hancock said. "It is amazing. He looks so good out there. He's been preparing four years for this and is definitely ready to do it again."
In the 10 meter air rifle, former Columbus State rifle member Jonathan Hall shot a 592 to finish in 27th place in the qualifications round.
Only the top eight scores advance to the final round.
The former NCAA national champion was the highest American finisher. Italy's Niccolo Campriani, who won the 2011 NCAA air rifle championship, and Romania's Alin George Moldoveanu tied the Olympic record with a 599, one point shy of a perfect score, in the qualification round.
Moldoveanu edged Campriani in the finals with a total score of 702.1 to win the gold. India's Gagan Narang earned bronze.