The final International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Shooting World Cup of the season gets underway at the United States Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning tomorrow with crucial quota places for Rio 2016 on the line for the last time.
Around 180 athletes from 48 countries are due to compete at the event, which runs until November 7.
World and European women’s 10 metres air rifle standing SH1 champion Veronika Vadovicova will again be the favourite in the category, while the Slovakian is also the one to beat in the women’s 50m rifle three positions SH1.
In that event, she will face stiff competition from British duo Karen Butler and Lorraine Lambert, both of whom won medals at the European Championships in Maribor, Slovenia earlier this year.
Lambert will also be looking to secure a quota spot for her nation for next year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Their teammate Matt Skelhon, current world and European champion who won gold at Beijing 2008, will be heavily favoured in the mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 event, and he is set to go up against UAE’s Abdulla Sultan Alaryani and Israel’s Doron Shaziri for gold.
Elsewhere, Alayrani will face his nemesis in Serbia’s European champion Laslo Suranji, who beat him to the men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 title at the World Cup in Osijek, Croatia, in July.
The arch-rivals will also do battle in the mixed 50m rifle three positions SH1 discipline.
Poland’s European silver medallist Slawomir Okoniewski, who has not yet secured a spot at Rio 2016, competes in the men’s 10m air pistol SH1 category and will need to hold off the challenge of Serbia’s Rastko Jokic and Turkey’s Cevat Karagol, both of whom have already booked their ticket to next summer’s Paralympic Games.
Sweden’s Joackim Norberg, world champion in the mixed 25m pistol SH1, is a good bet to reign supreme once again, with his closest competitors expected to be American trio Tricia Downing, Kerry Morris and Shaun Tichenor, who will be bidding to enhance their nation’s team for Rio 2016 by causing an upset.
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