Staff Sgt. Will Hinton and Sgt. Alicia Gough won the Gold Medal in the Trap Mixed Team event at the International Shooting Sports Federation Shotgun World Cup in Doha, Qatar March 4-13.
Hinton and Gough, who are both marksmanship instructors/competitive shooters with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit out of Fort Benning, Georgia, traveled to Qatar as part of USA Shooting’s National Shotgun Team.
Before making it into the Final Medal Match though, Hinton and Gough had to shoot three 25-target rounds against 23 other teams from 15 different countries. Hinton, a Dacula, Georgia native, shot three perfect rounds of 25, bringing in 75 points. Gough, a Burlington, Wisconsin native, brought in 69 points, making the team score 144 and putting them in second place behind Kuwait’s 145 points.
Shooting 75 straight hits with no misses was not only a personal best for the U.S. Army Soldier, but something every shotgun shooter strives for.
“During qualification, I hit 75 out of 75 targets, which is something I have never done in competition. That was a great accomplishment,” said Hinton.
In the Gold Medal Match, Team USA faced off against Kuwait’s Talal Alrashidi and Sarah Alhawal. Hinton continued his streak of perfection, not missing any of the 15 targets in the Final, which are broken down into series of five targets per athlete. After each five-target series, the team with the most combined hits is awarded with two points. In three series of five targets, Gough only missed three targets in total. Her strong shooting combined with Hinton’s dominating no-miss performance, claimed the Gold Medal for the USA over Kuwait.
Shooting a no-miss Final was just proof that his training is paying off, explained Hinton.
“I felt like my shooting game was heightened that day and I personally feel that my shooting has improved from that.”
The Trap Mixed Team event Gold Medal was the first for Gough and the fifth team World Cup Medal for Hinton. However, this is the first perfect series of 90 straight hits in a competition for Hinton, and he said that gives him the confidence he needs that his training is working.
“For me not missing a target that day means that my game is evolving in the right direction.”