Croatia’s Snjezana Pejcic (Rifle) and USA’s Vincent Hancock (Shotgun) have been named “2015 ISSF Shooters of the Year”.
The two shooters won the votes of the ISSF Coaches Advisory Committee and of the ISSF Athletes Committee members, and of a panel of international media representatives, who were invited by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) to select two “role models, who are successful through unique performances, behavior and character. Possibly not always the most successful winners of the season, but two athletes who represent the special values of the shooting sport with commitment.”
The 2008 Olympic Bronze medallist Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia, 33, has been one of the main protagonists of the 2015 ISSF World Cup Series. The Rifle shooter won two World Cup gold medals in Changwon, Korea, last year, as well as two silver medals at the ISSF World Cup Stage in Fort Benning, USA, in both 10m Air Rifle and 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women events.
On her way to the 2015 ISSF World Cup Final in Munich – where she secured a Bronze medal – Pejcic also equalled the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women world record, and set a new final world record.
“It’s the first time, and I hope it’s not the last one, that I win this prestigious award!” Pejcic said.
“The Shooter of the Year award is one of those titles I was missing, and I really wanted to win. It’s a real honor, especially because it’s cross-discipline, and there are so many good shooters out there. I really did not expect to win.”
“2015 has been my best season, so far. It started off in a great way, with four world cup medals, and it ended well with a world cup final podium. I am just sorry that I did not make it to the European Games’ podium.”
“The goal is now the Olympic Games – she added – I will be competing in all four ISSF World Cup Stages next year, and at the European Championships, trying to be prepared for Rio 2016.”
The 2015 ISSF Shooter of the Year Vincent Hancock – a 2008 and 2012 Skeet Men Olympic Champion from USA – also distinguished himself through great performances during the 2015 season.
The 26-year old American shooter wrote his name in the history book of shooting by winning his third World Championships title in career, at the ISSF Shotgun World Championships in Lonato, Italy, exactly ten years after his first victory.
Hancock also won two ISSF World Cup Stages – in Acapulco (Mexico) and Gabala (Azerbaijan) – equalling the world record and then pocketed a Silver medal at the 2015 ISSF World Cup Final in Nicosia, Cyprus.
He had already won the “Shooter of the year” award in 2005, at the age of 16.
“It’s an amazing honor for being selected as 2015 ISSF Shooter of the year for the second time in my career, ten years after winning the title the first time back in 2005. A lot of things changed in these years, and it’s nice to be honored again.” Hancock said.
“I had a good season again last year, and I fulfilled my goal to make it to the US Olympic team. 2015 has been an important stepping stone toward 2016.”
“I will continue to build up for the Olympics throughout the season. Rio 2016 is the ultimate goal: I want to win my third Olympic Gold medal there.”
Hancock and Pejcic will be officially awarded in occasion of one of the first 2016 ISSF World Cup Stages.