Shooting World Cup medal success for Bevis and Skelhon in Croatia
Three-time Paralympian James Bevis lay down an early marker for Tokyo 2020 with R9 World Cup gold in Croatia – setting a finals world record along the way.
The World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Osijek was the first competition in which the R9 (50m rifle prone mixed SH2) has been contested since it was recently added to the Paralympic programme.
Bevis, who won bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, topped qualification with a score of 620.8, more than four points clear of his nearest rival.
His form continued into the final, setting the pace to take the gold medal with a new world record of 247.4 points ahead of France’s Alain Quittet and Serbia’s Dragan Ristic.
Bevis also reached the final in the R4 and R5 finals, finishing in fifth and fourth place respectively.
“We are pleased that R9 has been added to the Paralympic Programme for Tokyo to provide more opportunity for SH2 shooters,” said Paralympic performance director Pasan Kularatne.
“This is James Bevis’s first international competition of the year and I am very pleased that his hard work, supported by our staff team, has earned him gold in R9 with a finals world record.”
Another medal followed for Great Britain’s shooters as three-time Paralympic medallist Matt Skelhon won silver in R6 (50m rifle prone mixed SH1).
Skelhon, who won gold on his Paralympic debut in Beijing before following it up with silver and bronze in London four years later, topped the standings after the 60-shot qualification round, scoring 621.3.
But despite taking an early lead in the final, it was Veronika Vadivicova of Slovakia who eventually took the gold medal, Skelhon finishing just 0.4 points shy in second.
He had earlier impressed in qualifying top in R3, finishing sixth with fellow Brits Lorraine Lambert and Vinod Budhathoki in 18th and 24th respectively.
There were further final finishes for Stewart Nangle, Issy Bailey and Ryan Cockbill in a successful campaign for the British shooters.
Photo Credit: British Shooting