Road to Acapulco: Athletes to watch
As the season's first World Cup Stage approaches, a look at the athletes that expect to win
An Olympic Bronze Medallist from Cuba will try to grab a medal in Mexico—Juan
Miguel Rodriguez Martinez, 47, who just made the podium at the Athens 2004 Men's Skeet event. His last World Cup triumphs, though, are quite old. Rodriguez Martinez won gold and bronze respectively in Lahti, Finland and Lima, Peru, both in 1995.
Cyprus' Georgios Achilleos, 34, won his last World Cup Stage in Lonato, Italy three years ago. He has not won any medal ever since. Achilleos was 80th at last year's World Championship in Granada, where he only hit 112 targets.
He won the World Championship and equaled a World Record at Belgrade 2011. Spain's Juan Jose Aramburu, 33, also took over the 2013 World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi. Last year was a pretty dim one for Aramburu, as he never won a medal. This is the time for him to come back.
Jan Sychra of the Czech Republic won last season's World Cup Stage in Munich with a perfect performance—he hit all of the 15 targets in the final, after qualifying with 123 targets. Though Granada didn't go too well (he only came 29th), Sychra, 45, is now ready for the new season.
A gold medal at the 2013 World Championship in Lima, then nothing. Denmark's Jesper Hansen, 34, will try to get back on the podium in Acapulco.
Italy's Luigi Lodde, 33, went through a brilliant season last year. Lodde won the Tucson World Cup Stage, were he also equaled the World Record—124 targets in the qualification round, 15 in the final. Plus, he won gold at the European Championship in Sarlospuszta.
Norway's Tore Brovold, 44, is an Olympic hero. He won silver at Beijing 2008. Brovold has since pocketed six World Cup medals, as well as three World Cup Final silver medals. He also won two World Championship medals—Zagred 2006, Belgrade 2011.
For Tom Beier Jensen of Norway, 2013 was an amazing year. Jensen , 25, then won two World Cup Stage silver medals—in Al Ain and Granada—, and a gold medal at the Suhl European Championship. The following year was not as satisfying, as Jensen didn't make any podium. He was 19th at the Granada World Championship.
Two-time Olympic Gold Medallist Vincent Hancock of the USA has not won any World Cup medal in the last season, and he only was 9th at the Granada World Championship. Hancock, 27, will be among the top favorites for the Acapulco World Cup.
China's Wei Meng, 25, a World Cup Final silver medallist at last year's competition in Gabala, Azerbaijan—earlier on in the season, Wei had won silver at the Tucson World Cup Stage.
Wei's teammate, 32-year-old Wei Ning is a two-time Olympic Silver Medallist, as she was second both at London 2012 and at Athens 2004.
Andri Eleftheriou of Cyprus, 31, won her latest World Cup medal in her home country, at Nicosia 2013. There, she had also equaled the World Record.
Great Britain's Amber Hill, 17, became the youngest World Cup gold medallist in the ISSF history as she won gold in Acapulco when she was 15. Hill will try to celebrate yet another triumph in her lucky city.
Three shooters from Italy have great goals for this competition. Diana Bacosi, 31, was a World Cup Final bronze medallist at Abu Dhabi 2013—in the same year she won silver in Acapulco. Katiuscia Spada, 33, won the 2010 World Cup Final in Izmir, Turkey. Chiara Cainero, 36, was an Olympic Gold Medallist at Beijing 2008 and will carry the hopes of Italian fans for Acapulco.
Germany's Christine Wenzel, 33, won the Women's Skeet World Title in Abu Dhabi in 2013, just five weeks after taking over the ISSF Shotgun World Championship. Last year, she won bronze at the Almaty World Cup Stage.
USA's Kimberly Rhode, 35, has been winning Olympic medals since 1996—gold in Atlanta, Athens, London; silver in Beijing; bronze in Sydney. She didn't make the podium at the latest Granada World Championship, as she came 7th.
Australia's Michael Diamond, 43, was an Olympic Gold Medallist at Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. Last year he won silver at the World Cup stage in Tucson. His teammate, 43-year-old Adam Vella, was also an Olympic Medallist—he won bronze at Athens 2004.
Giovanni Cernogoraz of Croatia, 32, won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The only time he won a World Cup medal was in 2011, when he took gold in Beijing, China.
Italy's medal hope Massimo Fabbrizi, 37, was an Olympic Silver Medallist at London 2012. Last year, he won gold at the World Cup Final in Gabala, Azerbaijan.
Fehaid Aldeehani and Abdullah Alrashidi are the two shooters Kuwait can count on. Aldeehani, 48, won bronze at the Olympic Games both at Sydney 2000 and at London 2012. Aldeehani will also compete in the Double Trap event. Alrashidi, 51, is an 8-time World Cup medallist—he also won the World Championship three times from 1995 to 1998.
Great Britain's Aaron Heading, 27, won a World Cup gold at Al Ain 2013, when he overcame Italy's Pellielo, a 7-time World Cup champion. Heading also won an European Championship in Maribor in 2006.
Laetisha Scanlan of Australia, 24, won a World Cup gold in each of the two previous seasons—Tucson in 2014, Al Ain in 2013. Scanlan is a two-time Oceania Continental Championship medallist.
Jessica Rossi, 23, went perfect at London 2012 as she both won the Gold Medal and set a New World Record—she hit 99 out of 100 targets in the event. She then won the World Championship title at Lima 2013, but was only 8th the next year in Granada. Her teammate, 22-year-old Silvana Stanco, took two World Cup medals in 2013—one of them was a bronze in Acapulco.
Finland's Satu Makela-Nummela, 44, was an Olympic Gold Medallist at Beijing 2008. She then won the Women's Trap title six years later in Beijing as well.
Charlotte Kerwood of Great Britain, 29, was a World Cup Final gold medallist at Abu Dhabi 2013. Kerwood is a three-time World Cup medallist.
San Marino's medal hopes are with the Perilli sisters. Arianna, 36, is a three-time European Championship medallist—she won in Sipoo, Belgrade, and Maribor. Alessandra, 26, is a four-time World Cup gold medallist—including last year's competition in Munich.
Corey Cogdell of the USA, 28, was an Olympic Bronze Medallist at Beijing 2008. She has also won four World Cup medals—one of them was a silver in Acapulco, in 2010.
Double Trap Men
China's Wang Hao, 38, was a silver medallist at last year's World Cup Final in Gabala. In the previous season, he won two more silver medals, in Al Ain and in Granada, as well as a bronze medal at the Asian Shooting Championship in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Italy's Daniele Di Spigno, 40, is a 15-time World Cup medallist. He has also won one World Cup Final, four World Championships, and seven European Championships.
Russia's Vasily Mosin, 42, was an Olympic Bronze Medallist at London 2012. Mosin then won the 2013 World Cup Final Title in Abu Dhabi. His teammate, 41-year-old Vitaly Fokeev, won twelve World Cup medals. Plus, he won one World Cup Final—Granada 2006. In that same year he also won the World Championship in Zagreb, Croatia.
Two shooting heroes represent the United States' hopes in the Double Trap event.
Jeffrey Holguin, 36, is a six-time World Cup medallist, and he has won the World Cup Final title in Gabala last year. Walton Eller, 32, is an eight-time World Cup medallist, and he has won gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.