Sweden’s Jonas Jacobsson is Shooting’s most successful athlete having won 16 gold medals, three silver medals and nine bronze medals in his eight Paralympic Games.
Dates: 30 August – 6 September
Venue: Royal Artillery Barracks
Number of Athletes: 140
Medal Events: 12
Ones to Watch: Jonas Jacobsson (Sweden), Matt Skelhon (Great Britain)
The London 2012 Paralympic Games will go off with a bang – quite literally. The first medal ceremony of the Games is traditionally always in shooting and will go to an athlete in the women's R2 air rifle SH1 on 30 August.
The shooting competition at London 2012 will be held at a truly historic venue: The Royal Artillery Barracks. Its rich heritage dates back to 1716, when a Royal Warrant authorised the formation of two artillery companies at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. The current building was constructed between 1775 and 1802 and has the longest continuous Georgian building facade in the UK - more than 1,000 feet (about 300 metres) in length.
Sweden’s Jonas Jacobsson is shooting’s most successful athlete having won 16 gold medals, three silver medals and nine bronze medals in his eight Paralympic Games. He is one of the most decorated Paralympic athlete in history and competed in his first Paralympic Games as a 15-year-old at the Arnhem 1980 Games.
London 2012 will be Jacobsson’s ninth Paralympic Games and he will be one to watch in all four of his events (men’s R1 10m air rifle standing SH1, men’s R7 50m rifle 3 positions SH1, mixed R3 10m air rifle prone SH1 and mixed R6 50m rifle prone SH1) and he is determined to continue his unrivalled success.
“I’ve managed to be able to get at least one gold at every Paralympics I’ve attended,” Jacobsson said. “It’s eight in a row and I want to make that nine in a row.”
One man that might stand in Jacobsson’s way is Great Britain’s Matt Skelhon. Skelhon won a gold medal in the mixed air rifle prone SH1 at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and has since risen to be world No.1 in both the men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 and the mixed 10m air rifle Prone SH1 events.
Republic of Korea won the most medals in shooting at Beijing 2008 with nine medals and will again be strong at London 2012. Lee Jiseok won two of Republic of Korea’s four gold medals at Beijing 2008 and is likely to compete for a place on the podium once more.
Lee Yunri from Republic of Korea is one of the women to watch in the shooting at London 2012 and will be a favourite for the final shooting event at the Games: the women’s R8 50m rifle 3 positions SH1.
Shooting boasts the oldest Paralympian at London 2012, eight-time gold medal winning shooter Libby Kosmala, who turned 70 in July and will compete in her 11th Paralympic Games.