London 2012 Paralympic champion Abdullah Sultan Alaryani is hoping to extend his winning-streak on home soil when he competes at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, between 16 and 24 February.
The Emirati is coming off a strong performance at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games also in his home country, where he took three golds in R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1), R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1) and R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1).
Another athlete to look out for is Matt Skelhon. Great Britain’s Beijing 2008 champion has cherished memories of Al Ain after breaking the world record in R3 (10m air rifle prone SH1) at last year’s World Cup.
Also keep an eye on two-time Paralympic champion Dong Chao. The Chinese shooter last competed at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, winning the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) and R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) events.
Chao’s compatriot Zhang Cuiping will be the female shooter to follow. The four-time Paralympic gold medallist took three Asian Para Games titles in 2018, breaking a world record in the R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing).
Another Paralympic champion, Lee Yun-Ri, is also a strong favourite for gold. The South Korean aims to relive her glory days and add another medal to her trophy cabinet.
The US Paralympic Shooter of 2018 Taylor Farmer is hoping to continue improving. During her short but fruitful career, the 21-year-old has already competed at multiple World Cups, the 2018 World Championships and holds the junior world record for R8 (women’s 50m rifle three positions SH1).
It is the fourth straight year that Al Ain stages the World Cup. It will also be an important chance for athletes to secure qualification slots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Live results are available on World Shooting Para Sport’s website.