GB got off to a solid start at the opening IPC Shooting World Cup of 2015 winning nine medals, including gold for Paralympic medallist Matt Skelhon

Twenty-five GB shooters took on the world’s finest athletes as the IPC Shooting World Cup 2015 series got under way at Stoke Mandeville (March 30 – April 1). With approximately 80 shooters lining up from over 20 different nations, competition was fierce as athletes looked to make their mark at the start of the final season ahead of Rio 2016.

IPC President Sir Philip Craven joined spectators on the first day of competition, where the host nation enjoyed success with Lorraine Lambert collecting bronze in the R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) with a score of 177.7, behind European Champion Veronika Vadovicova  of Slovakia (205.4) and Australia’s Elizabeth Kosmala (200.7). 

In the falling target rifle SH2, a non-Paralympic event, GB showed their dominance with Tim Jeffery taking gold over Ukraine’s Vasyl Kovalchuk and Australia’s Luke Cain in silver and bronze respectively.

Earlier in the competition, Deanna Coates used her competitive experience to take the win in the falling target rifle SH1 ahead of Kosmala and Coates’ team-mate Mandy Pankhurst, who took bronze.

In a nail-biting day of sporting action on day two, Matt Skelhon took gold for Great Britain in the R3 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1), claiming a narrow victory over Slovakia’s Veronika Vadovicova by 0.3 points.

Vadovicova was leading until the very final round of the competition, but when she shot a 9.9. Skelhon seized the advantage by shooting a 10.8  to claim his first international title of 2015.

Elsewhere, Ryan Cockbill claimed bronze in the R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) behind French athlete Tanguy De La Forest and Vasyl Kovalchuk, the European Champion.

Over in the falling target pistol event, Oleksii Denysiuk secured Ukraine’s first gold of the competition ahead of Great Britain’s Roy Carter and Azerbaijan’s Akbar Muradov with silver and bronze respectively.

The final day of competition there was further success for GB in the pistol events, with Stewart Nangle (pictured) claiming the win in the P1 (men’s 10m air pistol SH1), improving on the bronze won on his debut in 2014 and adding a ninth medal to the GB haul.

The GB contingent will now be looking ahead to the next IPC Shooting World Cup, to be hosted in Szczecin, Poland, from April 17-21 with the first in a series of three qualifiers for Rio 2016 taking place in Osijek, Croatia, from July 10-14.