The 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships will see 13 individual medal events, four being pistol.
As competition gets underway on 4 May in Cheongju, South Korea, here are the top pistol shooters to keep an eye on:
P1 (men’s 10m air pistol SH1)
China’s Chao Yang holds the biggest target on his back in the P1 as the defending Paralympic champion, but he has not competed internationally since Rio 2016. India’s 16-year-old Manish Narwal is certainly one to watch following two outstanding World Cup performances. The teenager captured a pair of silver medals from Al Ain, UAE, in March, and last year’s competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Do not count out Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk. A newcomer to the sport who made his Paralympic debut in Rio, the Ukrainian has proven he is a promising pistol talent. While P1 does not appear to be his strongest discipline, he finished third place at the Grand Prix in Szczecin, Poland, which was the last World Shooting Para Sport event before Cheongju 2018.
P2 (women's 10m air pistol SH1)
Iran’s Sareh Javanmardi made history at Rio 2016 by becoming the first Iranian female to win Paralympic gold in the sport, one of which was in P2. However, Aysegul Pehlivanlar could challenge Javanmardi. The Turkish shooter won the bronze medal in Rio and shocked at the World Cup in Osijek, Croatia, last September, beating Javanmardi for the P2 gold. Also watch for Ukraine’s Olga Kovalchuk, the reigning Paralympic silver medallist who is loaded with experience but just missing that first major career gold medal.
P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1)
Another Chinese shooter enters Cheongju as the reigning Paralympic champion. Xing Huang owns those bragging rights and showed he is still in form with the bronze from March’s Al Ain World Cup. But watch for Australia’s Christopher Pitt, who failed to medal in Rio but has been a consistent podium finisher on the World Cup circuit. He won the event in Bangkok and was third in Osijek. Sweden’s Joackim Norberg was runner-up in Rio and won the P3 event in Al Ain in March.
P4 (mixed 50m pistol SH1)
Denysiuk was a newcomer to the sport before his Paralympic debut in Rio, and his P4 bronze medal was just the start of more to come. But it is Javanmardi who has the most momentum, being undefeated in the P4 since the 2016 Paralympics. She will aim to complement her P4 Paralympic gold with a world title.
P3 finals – Friday, 4 May
P1 and P2 finals – Sunday, 6 May
P4 finals – Tuesday, 8 May
All 13 individual finals will be streamed live on the International Paralympic Committee’s website. More information on Cheongju 2018 can be found on the event website. https://www.paralympic.org/cheongju-2018