A series of world champions are set to get their 2016 season underway in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Saturday (23 January), at the opening IPC Shooting World Cup of the Paralympic year.
Live results will be available at the IPC Shooting website.
Amongst the more than 100 shooters from 27 countries who will face off are some of the world’s best pistol shooters.
Sweden’s Joackim Norberg is the world champion in P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1) and non-Paralympic event, P5 (mixed 10m air pistol standard SH1).
Russia’s World Championships silver medallist Sergey Malyshev is Norberg’s main opponent in P3, whilst Malyshev’s teammate Andrey Lebedinskiy was a top-10 ranked shooter from 2015 in P5.
Malyshev claimed silver in P1 (men’s 10m air pistol SH1) at the 2014 Worlds and will attempt to take victory in the UAE.
Valeriy Ponomarenko, also a podium finisher from 2014, will look to collect a medal for Russia in P4 (mixed 50m pistol SH1).
In P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1) Hungary’s Worlds silver medallist Krisztina David will face Azerbaijan’s European champion Yelena Taranova.
Slovakia’s world champion Veronika Vadovicova returns from a successful year in 2015, where she secured multiple World Cup podiums in R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) and R8 (women’s 50m rifle three positions SH1).
Vadovicova also set a new finals world record in R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) last year, proving the threat she poses across multiple events. However Great Britain’s Matt Skelhon is in Al Ain to challenge Vadovicova as a Paralympic Games and World Championships silver medallist.
Skelhon is also the world champion in R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1) but home shooter Abdullah Sultan Alaryani will continue his quest to defend his Paralympic title in 2016.
Alaryani will also be setting his sights on R7 (men’s 50m rifle three positions SH1) glory this year, having taken home silver from the World Championships.
France’s World Championships bronze medallist Tanguy De La Forest is working towards his first Paralympic medal in R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2). He will be challenged by Slovenian world ranked No.2 Gorazd Francek Tirsek.
In R5 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2), Great Britain’s Ryan Cockbill is the shooter to look out for as the 2015 world No.4.
Ukraine’s Andrii Doroshenko is expected to be the leading athlete in R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) having taken bronze from the World Championships.
Concluding the events in Al Ain is R9 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH2). Austria’s Johann Windhofer finished 2015 as the world ranked No.2, whilst Russia’s Nikolai Krygin also made it into the top 10 in the non-Paralympic event.
Competition gets underway with P3 and R3 on Saturday (23 January) and runs until 27 January.
Pictures and live updates will be posted to @IPCShooting and Facebook.com/IPCShooting.