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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
A shooting para athlete holding a rifle.

Matt Skelhon

Shooting
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Matt Skelhon is arguably Great Britain’s most renowned Paralympic shooter.

At the 2018 World Championships, Skelhon battled with Slovakian star Veronika Vadovicova for R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) gold. It came down to the final shot, and Skelhon came up 0.7 points short of Vadovicova’s world-record win. But it was a satisfying finish after getting knocked out of the elimination round in the R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1) the previous day.

His notoriety began at the Beijing 2008 Games where, sporting a distinctive red mohican, the Peterborough native hit a perfect score in R3 to win gold only two years after taking up the sport.

However, at his home Paralympic Games at London 2012, the Brit found himself up against France’s Cedric Fevre who took the crown from him by just 0.3 points to leave him with silver.

That was not the end of the story for the self-confessed perfectionist. Skelhon hit back in R6 to take an unexpected bronze.

Just over one year later, the man nicknamed “Buzal” clinched R6 gold at the 2013 European Championships in Alicante, Spain, with a new qualification and finals world-record score.

At the 2014 World Championships in Suhl, Germany, Skelhon was back to his best, winning gold in R6 with a new world record and silver in R3.

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games it looked like Skelhon was on track to win Paralympic gold in R6.

With a new Paralympic record in qualification he went into the final in good form. But it was not to be. Skelhon started well, placing third after the first round of shots. But by the third round a series of sub 10.0 scores meant he was eliminated, leaving China's Cuiping Zhang to take gold whilst Skelhon finished seventh.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SH1

Further personal information

Residence
Peterborough, ENG
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried shooting at age 11. He began competing in Para shooting at the 2006 Stoke Mandeville Spinal Games in Aylesbury, England.
Why this sport?
He originally practised the sport as a hobby with his father.
Name of coach
Pasan Kularatne [national]
Training Regime
He trains at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, England.

General interest

Nicknames
Buzal [slang for 'mate' in his hometown of Peterborough, England]. (channel4.com, 14 Oct 2010)
Hobbies
Fishing. (Twitter profile, 27 Sep 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning two gold medals in front of a home crowd at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (paralympic.org, 20 Mar 2016)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He listens to music before he competes. (paralympic.org, 17 Apr 2013)
Awards and honours
He was named the 2014 Sportsman of the Year by the Peterborough Telegraph newspaper in England. (peterboroughtoday.co.uk, 30 Jan 2015)
Impairment
He has paraplegia as the result of a car accident. (paralympic-games.2012.co.uk, 13 Jun 2011)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Air Rifle Standing SH1 Qualification 18
Mixed Air Rifle Prone SH1 Qualification 1
Mixed Air Rifle Prone SH1 Final Round 1
2010 IPC Shooting World Championships (Zagreb, Croatia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 Qualification 2010-07-17 7
Team R3 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH1 Final 2010-07-19 1
Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH1 Qualification 2010-07-19 2
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
R1 - Men's 10 m Air Rifle Standing SH1 Qualification 2012-08-31 18
R3 - Mixed 10 m Air Rifle Prone SH1 Qualification 2012-09-01 1
R3 - Mixed 10 m Air Rifle Prone SH1 Final Round 2012-09-01 2
R6 - Mixed 50 m Rifle Prone SH1 Final Round 2012-09-04 3
R6 - Mixed 50 m Rifle Prone SH1 Qualification 2012-09-04 7
2014 IPC Shooting World Championships (Suhl, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH1 Final 2014-07-21 2
Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH1 Qualification 2014-07-21 1
Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH1 Final 2014-07-22 1
Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH1 Qualification 2014-07-22 1
Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH1 Elimination 2014-07-22 7
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
R3 - Mixed 10 m Air Rifle Prone SH1 Qualification 2016-09-10 11
R6 - Mixed 50 m Rifle Prone SH1 Final Round 2016-09-14 7
R6 - Mixed 50 m Rifle Prone SH1 Qualification 2016-09-14 1
Cheongju 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships (Cheongju, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
R6 - Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH1 Qualification 2018-05-05 1
R6 - Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH1 Final 2018-05-05 5
R3 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH1 Qualification 2018-05-05 3
R3 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle prone SH1 Final 2018-05-05 2