Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships, which is scheduled to get underway on Saturday in Sydney, Australia, will feature 41 medal events.
The highlight of the tournament will be the five individual events in the pistol category and the spotlight will be on reigning champions from 2018.
Not only are these high-profile shooters looking to defend their world titles from Cheongju, South Korea but they are also aiming for a direct qualification for their nations at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Here’s a sneak peek into each individual pistol event:
P1 (men’s 10m air pistol SH1)
It is expected to be a repeat of last year’s World Championships final, the elimination round could see a Chinese showdown.
Yang Chao won the title by a matter of just millimetres. His compatriots Huang Xing and Lou Xiaolong shared the lead at some point but could not hold their nerve and finished third and fourth respectively.
Watch out also for India’s Manish Narwal, who turns 18 during the Championships. He has shown spurts of potential and is coming off second place at the recently concluded World Cup in Osijek, Croatia.
Russia’s Sergey Malyshev is back on the competition scene and the Beijing 2008 silver medallist is ready to prove he has not lost his sheen. His last Worlds medal was a silver way back in 2014.
P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1)
Sareh Javanmardi is one of the sport’s greats and hence you need to just follow this event to know why.
The Iranian is the current Paralympic and world title holder. She is someone who knows how to remain focused even when she is trailing. Her success at the Al Ain 2019 World Cup in February justified her renowned stature.
Ukraine’s Iryna Liakhu remembers the 2018 final against Javanmardi all too well, having lost out on gold by 0.2 points. She also finished runner-up to her rival in Al Ain and without a doubt is determined to get over the hump in Sydney.
India is bringing a strong delegation, with youngster Nisha Kanwar a potential medal contender after winning in Osijek in July.
P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1)
At this event in Cheongju last year, Huang Xing got his revenge on teammate Yang Chao. The farther distance and noise-popping event seems to suit Huang better. He captured the victory in Al Ain this year, more so showing he is in good shape to defending his Paralympic title in Tokyo next year.
Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk broke through with bronze at Cheongju 2018 and won in Osijek. But, every series will matter if he wants to overcome Huang.
P4 (mixed 50m pistol SH1)
Sareh Javanmardi is expected to standout again, not just as the reigning world champion but as the woman in the mix of a male-dominated medal event. Last year, her and compatriot Samira Eram were the only females in the elimination round.
Javanmardi found herself among the final three standing against Huang Xing and Yang Chao.
Both Chinese pistol specialists will also pose another threat to the podium, and this could be the most unpredictable pistol event.
P5 (mixed 10m air pistol standard SH1)
The only non-Paralympic pistol is always a thrilling conclusion to the pistol events. Sweden’s Joackim Norberg will try to defend his Cheongju 2018 title while Oleksii Denysiuk will aim to spoil those hopes.
The Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships run from 12-19 October. More information is available on the event website.