The 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships will see 13 individual medal events, including nine rifle disciplines.
As competition gets underway on 4 May in Cheongju, South Korea, here are the shooters to watch in the R7 (men’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1), R8 (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1) and the newly-minted R9 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH2):
R7 (men’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1)
The UAE’s Abdulla Sultan Alaryani has been strong in R7 since claiming silver at the 2016 Paralympic Games; he has gone undefeated in all four World Cups. Alaryani particularly got his revenge on Paralympic champion Laslo Suranji in Osijek, Croatia; and the Serbian has not competed in a World Shooting Para Sport competition since September. Alaryani carries the most momentum, but Suranji’s silence should not count him out of contention.
R8 (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1)
Slovakia’s Veronika Vadovicova and China’s Cuiping Zhang are one of the hottest rivalries in the sport, and they will cross fire again here. Zhang topped her rival in this event in Rio 2016, but Vadovicova has been a consistent podium finisher in R8 since those Games. South Korea’s Yunri Lee is an experienced shooter and finished third in Rio. She is one the home crowd will cheer on.
R9 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH2)
The first world champion in this event will be crowned in Cheongju. The discipline was approved as a medal event for Tokyo 2020, and that news got rifle shooters flocking to R9. Great Britain’s James Bevis, Ukraine’s Vasyl Kovalchuk and South Korea’s Youngjun Jeon each own World Cup gold medals in R9. But it is be difficult to predict who make it to the elimination stage in the newest Paralympic medal event.
R (7-9) schedule:
R8 finals – Thursday (10 May)
R7 and R9 finals – Friday (11 May)
All 13 individual finals will be streamed live on Paralympic.org. More information on Cheongju 2018 can be found on the event website.