Triple title for Zhang, first for Alaryani and UAE

India's Avani Lekhara takes her second medal at Tokyo 2020 with bronze behind Germany's Natascha Hiltrop on day five in the Asaka Shooting Range 03 Sep 2021
A man in a wheelchair waving in a shooting competition with a rifle
Abdulla Sultan Alaryani celebrates UAE's first gold medal at Tokyo 2020 in the R7 - men’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1
ⒸHiroki Nishioka for World Shooting Para Sport
By OIS and World Shooting Para Sport

It took until the very last shot, but Cuiping Zhang has become a triple Paralympic champion in the R8 - women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1.

Germany’s Natascha Hiltrop held the lead before the final shot but scored just 8.7 as Zhang’s 10.3 gave her the title.

This was Zhang’s fourth consecutive medal in this event, adding to golds at London 2012 and Rio 2016, and bronze at Beijing 2008.

"I've done what I'm capable of and the result is just proof of what I've trained for,” Zhang said.

When asked what she thought when she saw her last score, Hiltrop said with a laugh, “oops”.

World champion Anna Normann from Sweden beat her own qualification world record to qualify top of the standings, but could not find the same accuracy in the final and finished fifth. 

India’s Avani Lekhara continued her impressive week in Tokyo adding a bronze to her gold in the R2 – women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 on day one.

"It was a tough final but I'm happy to have made it into bronze. I could have done better than this. It's just what finals do to you," Lekhara said.


Same finalists, different medals

In the R7 - men’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1 final a poor first standing round for Serbia’s defending champion Laslo Suranji let Abdulla Sultan Alaryani slip ahead as the elimination rounds began.

The UAE athlete stayed in front through the last five shots to take his first title in this event, although he gave himself a rating of only 60 per cent for his performance.

"This is my favourite event and I'm always trying to improve during training and competition," the new Paralympic champion said. "Today the atmosphere affected my performance, and made it more difficult to compete in the final.”

Suranji settled for silver with Jinho Park taking bronze – South Korea’s third shooting Para sport podium in Tokyo.

"I'm very happy with my friend who won the gold medal today. He was the silver medallist behind me in Rio, so I'm very happy for him," the Serbian said.

Saturday will see two events at Tokyo 2020 in the penultimate day of shooting in the Asaka Shooting Range. First the P4 – mixed 50m pistol SH1 final followed by the R9 – mixed 50m rifle prone SH2 final.

For full shooting schedule and results click here.