Great Britain dominated the first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Shooting World Cup event of the year in Szczecin, Poland at the weekend winning four out of seven events.
More than 100 shooters from 15 countries were in Poland for the event which gave shooters the opportunity to reach the Minimum Qualification Standard for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
And it was the host nation of London 2012 who put in the strongest performances claiming four gold medals.
Three-time Paralympic Games gold medalist Deanna Coates took first place in the R2 Women’s 10m Individual Air Rifle Standing – SH1 as did Nathan Milgate in the R1 Men’s 10m Individual Air Rifle Standing – SH1.
In the Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing – SH2 there was victory for Richard Davies and in the Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone – SH2 James Bevis also took gold.
Great Britain did not have its own way in all events though with Russia claiming victory in three events.
Sergey Malyshev took first place in the P1 Men’s 10m Individual Air Pistol – SH1, as did Marina Klimenchenko in the P2 Women’s 10m Individual Air Pistol – SH1 and Tatiana Ryabchenko in the R3 Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone – SH1.
The next World Cup event will take place between 26 and 29 April in Turkey and will again be an opportunity for athletes to attain the Minimum Qualification Standard for London 2012.
In addition to reaching the Minimum Qualification Standard, there are three World Cup events taking place later this year between May and November which are Paralympic Qualification events. This means the winners in each category will earn extra places for London 2012 for their NPC.
The first of these events is in Spain in May and already more than 210 shooters from over 40 countries have signed up to take part.
At the London 2012 Paralympic Games there will be 140 athletes competing in 12 medal events. Each National Paralympic Committee (NPC) can be allocated a maximum of five places for athletes through the Direct Qualification Method. To be eligible for selection by an NPC, each athlete must be licensed, classified and have achieved the Minimum Qualification Standard at least twice in an IPC recognized competition.