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Para Success In Al Ain
Published Friday 3 March 2017 17:50 by Craig Davies
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Great Britain’s Ryan Cockbill won Gold in R5 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2) at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup Al Ain in the UAE. His final score of 255.5 was a new world record after changes to the number of shots in the single position events were introduced for 2017.

Cockbill qualified second with a score of 636.0 and shot three 10.9s in the elimination stages to see off young Swedish shooter Philip Jonsson and Ukraine’s Paralympic champion Vasyl Kovalchuk.

Two of those perfect scores came in the second elimination round as it appeared Cockbill would ease past his rivals.

However Jonsson (254.3) had other ideas and brought himself to within 0.2 of the British athlete. He maintained that position for one more round, but a slip in the fifth proved to be costly and allowed Cockbill to advance to the top of the podium with the help of another 10.9.

Cockbill also took Silver in R4 (10m Air Rifle Standing Mixed SH2), qualifying third with a score of 630.8 and moved up a place in the final, only finishing behind Kuwait's Atef Aldousari who took Gold.

Lambert shot an international PB of 575 to qualify for the R8 (50m Rifle 50m Three Positions Women SH1) final tied at the top with Paralympic champion Veronika Vadivicova. The Slovak came out on top in the final but Paralympic finalist Lambert will be pleased with the Silver medal and heartened that the gap has closed since Rio. Mandy Pankhurst qualified fifth and finished fourth in the final.

Lambert also made the final of the R3 (10m Air Rifle Prone Mixed SH1) competition, breaking the 630 mark for the first time ever at a World Cup. Her 630.6 was good enough to qualify in sixth and she finished fifth in the final, with Vadivicova again taking Gold.

Lambert made it four finals from four events as she qualified 3rd in R6 (50m Rifle Prone Mixed SH1) and 8th in R2 (10m Air Rifle Standing Women SH1). She could not add to her medal tally as she finished 5th In R6 and 7th in R2. Mandy Pankhurst qualified 7th in R2, finishing 8th, and 18th in R6.

Stewart Nangle made the final in all three of his events, P1 (10m Air Pistol Men SH1) P3 (25m Pistol Mixed SH1) and P4 (50m Pistol Mixed SH1). He qualified top in P1 with a 562 but was eliminated in the final in 4th position. In P3 he qualified sixth and maintained that position in the final. He qualified fourth and finished 6th in P4.

Performance Director and Head Coach Pasan Kularatne said: “The Rio Paralympic Games were a real disappointment for us as we knew we had several athletes capable of winning medals. 

"We have worked very hard over the winter and I am delighted for Ryan and Lorraine that their dedication has paid off with world class performances. Ryan missed both finals in the Games by one place but winning his first ever R5 Gold medal by beating the Paralympic Champion is a great start to the Tokyo cycle”.

DSGB CEO James Marsh Brown said: “As I am due to retire at the end of March I am particularly pleased to see that the squad is back in top gear and performing at the highest level. 

"The excellent achievement of both the shooters and the support staff in achieving 11 places in finals, one Gold medal for Ryan and two silver medals one for Ryan and one for Lorraine give the best demonstration to our stakeholders that despite our performance at Rio the Squad is still a top performer on the International Circuit. It has been a great honour for me to have been able to work with such a great bunch of guys and girls over the past eight years and I wish them all the very best for the next Paralympic cycle under the management of British Shooting.”

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