Paralympic champions failed to reach the top of the podium on a surprising first day of competition (25 September) at the 2018 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in the National Shooting Centre of France in Chateauroux.
United Arab Emirates’ London 2012 gold medallist Abdulla Sultan Alaryani fought until the last shot but could not overtake South Korea’s Segunchul Lee, who beat him 248.2 to 247.4 in the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1).
Ukraine’s Andrii Doroshenko claimed bronze.
Doroshenko’s compatriot and two-time Paralympic champion Vasyl Kovalchuk had to settle for bronze in the R9 (men’s 50m rifle prone mixed SH2).
London 2012 bronze medallist James Bevis took gold for Great Britain after achieving 246.5 points, while Italy’s former wheelchair basketball player Andrea Liverani came in second.
Poland, Ukraine and Australia emerge triumphant
Poland’s Barbara Moskal showed consistency from start to end to comfortably win the VI (mixed 10m air rifle prone). She ended with a total of 240.7, leaving no room for her opponents to steal the win.
Norway’s Daniel Walow and Moskal’s compatriot Krzysztof Ruszkiewicz went head to head for second place. The latter was leading entering the last round, but Ruszkiewicz’s low score of 7.4 points allowed Walow to take silver.
There were no surprises in the P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1) as Rio 2016 bronze medallist Oleksii Denysiuk won gold with 23 points. The Ukrainian finished slightly ahead of Poland’s 36-year-old Szymon Sowinski (21).
Australian veteran Christopher Pitt took bronze.
The R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) was the most thrilling event of the day and was only decided in a shoot-off. After both scoring 246.5 points, Australia’s Natalie Smith beat Germany’s Natascha Hiltrop 10.1 to 10.0.
USA’s Taylor Farmer collected bronze.
Peru made history by winning their first medal at an international shooting Para sport event, bronze in the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1). A major achievement considering the sport will make its Parapan American debut next year in Lima.
The Peruvian team finished behind South Korea and Thailand.
Great Britain won the R9 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH2) ahead of Italy and France. Poland were the winners in the P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1), followed by South Korea and France.
Competition continues on 26 September with the R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) and R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1).
Chateauroux 2018 runs until 29 September and is being streamed live on World Shooting Para Sport’s website. , where live results are also available.