Texas will be well represented in the shooting events at the Tokyo Olympics this summer with four athletes heading to the Games. Three men and one woman with ties to the Lone Star State will be competing for medals.
Here are the Texans you’ll want to follow once the Tokyo Olympics begin.
Vincent Hancock grew up in Eatonton, Georgia but now calls Fort Worth, Texas his home. According to his Team USA profile page, Hancock’s father who was a competitive shooter was his inspiration to join the sport. Hancock began competing himself at age 11.
Hancock graduated from Troy University in Alabama in 2014 and later became a sergeant in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
Tokyo will be his fourth Olympic games. He brought home gold medals from the Beijing Games in 2008 and the London Games in 2012. He finished 15th in Rio in 2016.
In 2015, Hancock became the third athlete to ever win three men’s skeet world championship gold medals. He has participated in 9 World Championships.
During his down time, Hancock enjoys playing golf, hunting, and fishing.
Phillip Jungman who grew up in Caldwell, Texas is heading to his first Olympic games after being an alternate for the Rio Games in 2016.
According to the USA Shooting website, Jungman first learned to shoot as part of a 4-H club shooting safety class. He began competing at an international level at just 11 years old. He was 16 when he secured a spot on a junior national team.
Jungman attended Blinn College and Texas A&M. He is an active duty specialist in the U.S. Army.
On his free time, Jungman hunts, plays sports and video games.
Keith Sanderson grew up in San Antonio, Texas. In 2021, he will be participating in his fourth Olympics at 46-years-old.
In 2008, Sanderson landed 5th place in the Olympic Games in Beijing. He came in 14th place in London in 2012 and 10th place in Rio in 2016. The Olympian began shooting in 1996 in U.S. Marine Corps matches.
On top of his Olympic experience, Sanderson is a ten-time World Medal winner, and holds a Triple Distinguished Athlete honor.
Watch out for Austen Smith. This Dallas native calls Keller, Texas her home.
Before she was selected to represent Texas in the Tokyo Olympics, she had several achievements under her belt.
In 2017, Smith won a silver medal in skeet at the junior world championships. In 2018, she won a bronze medal and was that year’s Women’s Skeet champion.
Smith won a mixed team gold medal and her first junior world cup gold medal in 2019 prior to qualifying for Tokyo in 2020.
The 19-year-old athlete expressed her excitement for Tokyo on Instagram “Congrats to everyone who competed out there with me and a big thank you to everyone who helped me get this far! Tokyo here we come!”
Follow her on Instagram for more updates.