Michael Whapples took Gold in the 10m Rifle Impaired Vision event, which was being tested at this year’s World Championships.Atheletes use a special scope which detects the brightness of an inverted target – bright white at the centre fading through grey to black at the outside – and converts it into an audible tone, indicating how close they are to the centre.
Such equipment has been in use for some time at club level, but this style of shooting has not yet been included at World Championship or Paralympic level.
Nine athletes from eight countries participated, demonstrating a breadth of interest in the discipline.
The team Shotgun shooters also experienced success in the Para-Shotgun events. Paralympic events have thus far been limited to Rifle and Pistol, but a growing swell of interest from Disability Shotugn Shooters has seen the development of Standing and Sitting Para-Shotgun disciplines. The Exhibition was an Italian dominated affair with Italy bringing 12 of the 22 athletes – 6 for each event, with GB providing another 6, and Austria, Slovakia, Spain and Finland providing the final four.
In the Standing event, GB’s Andrew Womble and Reginald Toms qualified in 3rd and 4th with 45 and 42 ex50 respectively. Reginald struggled in the Semi-Finals, being eliminated after 15 targets. Andrew held his position however, qualifying for the Bronze medal match against Italy’s Felice Angela Pozzi.
Despite a nervous moment in the middle, missing 3 targets in a row, Andrew held his nerve, beating off the Italian 11-7 to take the Bronze. Giorgio Marrozzini (ITA) beat off Meliton Brinas (ESP) to take the Gold.
In the Trap Sitting event, GB had 4 athletes. Mathew Goodwin and Christopher Warner qualified for the Semi-Finals, whilst Alec Sperling and Thomas Laughame Jones were eliminated – Alec by a mere two targets.
The Semi-Final however was a much closer affair than in the Standing event, with all 6 Finallists shooting 8 or 9. Unfortunately Mathew and Christopher were eliminated with 8, whilst the remaining Italian athletes were all tie-broken on 9.
Pietro Giorgio Boem went on to beat Oreste Lai 1-0 in a shoot-off, after they tied on 10 ex15 in the Gold medal match, whilst Omar Radaelli convincingly beat Angeo Columbanu 8 targets to 2 to take the Bronze medal.Results can be found at the IPC website, and photos from the event are available on the IPC Shooting Facebook page.