Can New Zealand’s Michael Johnson hit the target in the R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) event?10 Sep 2016
By Jake Smith | For the IPC
The SH2 athletes will take centre stage at the Olympic Shooting Centre as they open their Paralympic campaign with the much-anticipated R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) event. A star-studded line-up in R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) will conclude the third day of shooting.
All eyes will be on New Zealand’s Michael Johnson in the R4 event. He is the world No. 1 and holds the finals world record (212.6), which he set in April last year at the Szczecin World Cup.
Breathing down the necks of the world’s best is Australian Luke Cain, who won gold at the 2016 Szczecin World Cup earlier this year. Cain has found form at exactly the right time.
At just 20 years old, the USA’s McKenna Dahl will be out to impress in her first Paralympics. She will be hoping for a finals berth and could push for a medal if she performs at her best.
Rio Paralympic champions Veronika Vadovicova and Chao Dong return to action with their sights set on a second Paralympic gold medal, but this time there can only be one victor as they go head-to-head in the R3 event.
UAE’s Abdulla Sultan Alaryani will be hoping to go one better in R3 after placing second to Dong in R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) on Wednesday (7 September).
Also seeking redemption is China’s Cuiping Zhang, who was runner-up to Vadovicova in R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) earlier this week. Zhang was the R3 silver medalist in Beijing and the bronze medalist in London, and now hunts gold in Rio to complete the collection.
Matt Skelhon from Great Britain will certainly be one to watch. The Brit won gold in Beijing and silver four years ago in front of his home crowd.
Frenchman Cedric Fevre is the defending R3 Paralympic champion and is currently ranked No. 3 in the world. He could be the first person to defend the R3 title since Enayatollah Bokharaei at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.