Shooting: Day 6 preview

Vadovicova aims to become first woman to secure three shooting golds for nearly 30 years as competition continues at the Olympic Shooting Centre. 13 Sep 2016
Veronika Vadovicova gold medalist at Shooting R2 Women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 Final at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Veronika Vadovicova gold medalist at Shooting R2 Women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 Final at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

ⒸRaphael Dias/Getty Images for the IPC
By Jake Smith | For the IPC

It’s the riflewomen’s turn to show their skills over 50m in R8 (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1) on Tuesday (13 September), before the action returns to the 10m range where more than 30 SH2 athletes will be gunning for gold.

Veronika Vadovicova could become the first woman to win three shooting gold medals at a single Paralympic Games since Australia’s Libby Kosmala at Seoul in 1988. The Slovakian has been on fire in Rio, winning R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) as well as R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1).

Cuiping Zhang came up short against Vadovicova in R1 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) last week, but she will be determined to stop this happening again.

As the reigning world and Paralympic champion, and the qualification (592) and finals world record (458.2) holder, Zhang’s list of R8 accomplishments are enough to strike fear into any opponent. The Chinese superstar will be determined to defend her title and cement her reputation as the world’s best.

The only thing missing from Zhang’s collection is the Paralympic record, which South Korea’s Yunri Lee set in Beijing. The South Koreans have looked threatening throughout the competition, but have yet to land a gold medal at the Olympic Shooting Centre. Lee has a big chance to be the first to do so.

Germany’s Natascha Hiltrop is one to watch after narrowly missing the R8 podium at the 2013 European Championships and finishing fifth at the 2014 World Championships. The 24-year-old is no longer considered a dark horse after dazzling the crowd with a silver medal performance in R1 less than a week ago.

The Slovenian team picked up the quinella in R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2), with Veselka Pevec and Gorazd Tirsek winning gold and silver respectively. Both shooters will be full of confidence heading into the R5 match that starts at 1pm.

Ukrainian Vasyl Kovalchuk will have a target on his back as the defending R5 champion. He has also picked up some added pressure after his wife, Olga Kovalchuk, won silver in the P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1) final on Friday (9 September).

Michael Johnson will be hoping to bounce back from his finals blunder in R4 to score New Zealand’s first shooting medal in Rio. Johnson was the bronze medalist from the 2014 world championships and was fourth in London in R5.

Serbian Dragan Ristic fell short of the podium in London, but has been improving ever since. He is currently ranked No. 1 in the world and is a sure chance for a medal. Teammate Laslo Suranji has already shown how it’s done, winning gold in R7 (men’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1) on Monday (12 September).