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Peach State Precision

Georgia’s Vincent Hancock fires at one of his targets Monday in London during the qualifying round of the men’s skeet shooting event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Eatonton native finished first overall in qualifying — after hitting a staggering 74 of 75 total targets in his three rounds — and put himself in prime position to win his second straight gold medal today when the finals take place live at 9 a.m.

Georgia’s Vincent Hancock fires at one of his targets Monday in London during the qualifying round of the men’s skeet shooting event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Eatonton native finished first overall in qualifying — after hitting a staggering 74 of 75 total targets in his three rounds — and put himself in prime position to win his second straight gold medal today when the finals take place live at 9 a.m.

McClatchy News Service

COURTESY OF THE MACON TELEGRAPH

LONDON — After rising to the top of a field of 36 competitors at the Royal Artillery Barracks on Monday, Eatonton’s Vincent Hancock is in prime position to top the podium after the first day of qualifying in men’s skeet at the Olympic Games.

Leading the field with 74 targets (out of 75), Hancock is set to make his mark on history as he looks to become the first ever skeet athlete to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals.

The final two rounds are today, beginning with the final round of qualifying at 4:30 a.m., followed by the championship finals at 9 a.m.

Hancock is all but a lock for the latter after putting together two perfect 25-for-25 rounds and one of 24-for-25 that was good for sole possession of first after Day 1.

“(Monday) was a really good day,” Hancock, 23, said. “I went out there expecting to shoot 75 targets, but I fell a bit short and missed a target. The weather conditions were great, the range is great, the targets look amazing and just going out there to do my best and shoot 75 (today).”

Hancock is also primed to set a new Olympic and world record; he shares the previous ones of 121 targets with Norway’s Tore Brovold from the 2008 Beijing Olympis.

Teammate Frank Thompson from Alliance, Neb., hit 71 targets for a six-way tie in third. Duo medals for Hancock/Thompson would represent the first time the U.S. has ever put two American skeet shooters on the podium.