Seventy-five of the world’s best shooters from 20 countries, including several medallists from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, will get their 2017 season underway on Wednesday (22 February) at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Live results will be available throughout the competition, which runs until 27 February, at: www.paralympic.org/shooting/live-results.
Amongst those hoping for a solid start is Slovakia’s double Paralympic champion Veronika Vadovicova.
The 34-year-old won gold in R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) and R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) in Rio. She is also the qualification and finals world record holder in R3.
Germany’s Natascha Hiltrop finished second to Vadovicova in R3 at the Paralympics but will take the Slovakian on once again.
Abdullah Sultan Alaryani will get to make his season debut at home, returning to the range after a triumphant Paralympics.
Sweeping silver medals in three rifle events – R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1), R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1) and R7 (men’s 50m rifle three positions SH1) – Alaryani left Brazil as his country’s most medalled athlete.
Ukraine’s Vasyl Kovalchuk is the man to beat in R5 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2).
Kovalchuk successfully defended his title from the London 2012 Paralympics. He made headlines with the story of how he lost his right arm on a visit to a zoo when he was 10 years old; a bear grabbed him through the bars of its enclosure.
Having just missed out on the podium at Rio, France’s Tanguy De La Forest will hope to repeat his World Cup success in R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2).
The Frenchman won in Al Ain in 2016 and will face Great Britain’s Ryan Cockbill, also a serial top three finisher at this level.
Over on the pistol range, Ukraine’s Paralympic bronze medallist Oleksii Denysiuk will take on Sweden’s Joackim Norberg.
Denysiuk impressed on his Paralympic debut with his podium finish in P4 (mixed 50m pistol SH1).
Norberg did the same in P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1), claiming silver.
The 2017 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup will feature a full programme of rifle and pistol events. R3 will open competition on Wednesday.
In addition to live results, live updates will be available at Facebook.com/WorldShootingParaSport and Twitter and Instagram (@ShootingPara).