6 May 2018

Skelhon leads six-strong GB team to Shooting World Championships

Three-time Paralympic medallist Matt Skelhon leads a six-strong British team in the 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships starting on Friday.

All eyes are on South Korea once again as 223 shooters from 46 countries compete across 13 individual events between May 3 and May 11 in Cheongju.

Skelhon won gold in R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1) with a new world record and silver in R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) in Suhl, Germany, four years ago so will be seeking to retain his crown in South Korea.

The Peterborough shooter won Paralympic gold at Beijing 2008 as well as silver and bronze at London 2012 but, despite a Paralympic record in qualification, finished seventh in Pyeongchang.

Skelhon is joined by James Bevis, Ryan Cockbill, Tim Jeffery, Issy Bailey and Lorraine Lambert as athletes have the first opportunity to secure quota places for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Bevis will compete in three events including the mixed 50m rifle prone SH2, the first time this event is at the World Championships which will be at Tokyo 2020.

Cockbill meanwhile is preparing for his second World Championships after capturing two bronze at the Al Ain World Cup in United Arab Emirates in March.

Ryan Cockbill competes at Rio 2016

He said: “The World Championships is a larger event with more participants [and] with more countries being involved, making it tougher than some World Cups.

“I am aiming to be in the top-eight to qualify for the finals in R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2), R5 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2) and R9 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH2), which in turn will hopefully give me the opportunity to compete for the medals.”

The shooting competitions in Cheongju are divided into two disciplines: rifle and pistol, with competitions at three distances: 10m, 25m and 50m.

Athletes compete in three different classes based on impairment with SH1 (pistol) where athletes have impairment in the lower limbs and/or upper limb non-shooting arm.

Quote

The World Championships is a larger event with more participants [and] with more countries being involved, making it tougher than some World Cups.

Ryan Cockbill

SH1 (rifle) athletes have an impairment in the lower limb(s) while SH2 (rifle) competitiors have an impairment in the upper limb(s) which prevents them supporting the full weight of the rifle.

The athletes were welcomed to South Korea with a spectacular opening ceremony on Thursday and all 13 individual finals will be streamed live on the International Paralympic Committee’s website.

The full team appearing for GB is:

Lorraine Lambert (mixed 50m air rifle prone SH1, mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1, women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1)

Matt Skelhon (mixed 50m air rifle prone SH1, mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1)

James Bevis (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2, mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2, mixed 50m rifle prone SH2)

Ryan Cockbill (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2, mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2, mixed 50m rifle prone SH2)

Tim Jeffery (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2, mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2, mixed 50m rifle prone SH2)

Issy Bailey (mixed 25m pistol SH1, women’s 10m air pistol SH1, mixed 50m pistol SH1)

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