Published on 17 Jun 2024

Olympic medallists Bacosi and Hansen make experience tell to win skeet gold at ISSF Lonato World Cup


Experience told at the ISSF World Cup Shotgun in Lonato as the skeet women title went to 40-year-old home athlete Diana Bacosi (pictured), the Rio 2016 gold medallist and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist and the men’s gold went to Denmark’s 43-year-old Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Jesper Hansen.

In the last event on the calendar involving Olympic events until competition starts at the Paris 2024 Games on July 27 Bacosi overhauled early leader Dania Vizzi of the United States to win with a total of 57 – just two off the world record set by China’s Wei Meng in 2019.

Vizzi, who had beaten her compatriot Austen Smith 14-13 in a shoot-off to top qualifying with 121, maintained her momentum in the final, registering hits with her first 25 efforts before making her first error.

A second miss five shots later by the athlete who took gold here at last year’s World Cup and secured bronze at last November’s World Cup Foinal in Doha meant the two rivals were level.

But going into the final sequence of 20 efforts Bacosi missed only one more target while Vizzi missed two, finishing on 56.

Smith, tenth at the Tokyo 2020 Games, took bronze, one place above the third USA finalist, Samantha Simonton, winner at the ISSF World Cup in Cairo earlier this year.

Sweden’s Victoria Larssen was fifth, with sixth place going to India’s Ganemat Sekhon.

Slovakia’s 39-year-old world champion and London 2012 bronze medallist Danka Bartekova missed reaching the final by just two places.

Hansen, who had beaten France’s Eric Delaunay 12-11 in a shoot-off to finish top qualifier on 121, earned gold with a total of 54, beating long-time leader Conner Prince of the United States, 24, by one.

Bronze went to Qatar’s Rashid Al-Athba, who finished one place ahead of Dainis Upelnieks of Latvia.

Chile’s Hector Flores Barahona earned fifth place, with sixth place going to Delaunay.

For those taking part from the 18-strong Indian team this last stop in Italy has been particularly crucial as the shotgun squad for Paris 2024 will be announced immediately afterwards, with selectors reportedly putting most weight on results already achieved in the national trials.

Of the two others named for this skeet women event Maheshwari Chauhan finished 30th on 114 and 20-year-old Raiza Dhillon, the world junior silver medallist world-ranked 14, 41st on 111.

Shiraz Sheikh was the top Indian finisher in the skeet men qualifying, taking 36th place on 120, with Anant Naruka, this year’s Asian silver medallist, finishing one place lower on the same score.

Kuldeep Sanyashi was 93rd on 113, with Mairaj Khan one place lower on the same score. Arjun Thakur was 105th on 111.

The 13-strong United States team also included three-times Olympic skeet men champion Vincent Hancock, who finished 18th in qualifying on 122.