Shooting at the Paralympic Games

Shooting first made an appearance as a Paralympic sport during 1976 in Toronto. Any athlete with a physical impairment can compete, however no athletes with a visual impairment can partake in the events. The events in Paralympic Shooting are the same as the events in the Olympic programme. Prone events in air rifle shooting have also been included in the Paralympic Games.

Ever since the 1996 Paralympic Games in Athens, classes have been decided on functional ability, as opposed to physical impairments. There are both pistol and air rifle events, which feature athletes shooting from 10m, 25m and 50m distances. Out of the total 12 events, there are three men’s only, three women’s only and six mixed events. Including standing, kneeling and prone position events.

Shooting is an ultimate contest of accuracy and control, athletes compete to shoot as close as possible to the centre of a target, with a number of shots. The target has 10 concentric rings, athletes can score between 1 and 10 by hitting the target, with the outside ring worth 1 and the centre ring worth 10. Depending on which event it is, the targets can come in different sizes. The athlete with the highest score wins.

Athletes compete in a series of qualification rounds, followed by a knockout stage. Eight athletes make it through, but only one can win. Since the games have become increasingly competitive and the margins are so small, it is now possible to score to the nearest decimal, with the maximum score being 10.9.

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