Aussie silver at para shooting worlds

Anton Zappelli has secured Australia's first medal at the world para sport shooting championships in Sydney.

Anton Zappelli has claimed Australia's first medal at the world para sport shooting championships in Sydney.

The West Australian belied his world ranking of fifth in the mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1 event by almost upsetting the No.1-rated Matt Skelhon at the Sydney International Shooting Centre on Saturday.

Zappelli had to settle for silver, a mere 0.3 points shy of the Briton, after a seesawing final left him with a score of 252.9.

A 2016 Rio Paralympian, Zappelli led through the middle stages but was unable to withstand Skelhon's clinical finish.

China's Yan Yaping was a distant third on 232.1.

Zappelli was thrilled with his medal considering he experienced issues with his pistol leading into the championships.

"I was shooting really well in training and hoping for a top-three finish but last Friday my pistol went out of tune," he said.

"The issues started again in training yesterday so my expectations were not all that high.

"I was very surprised with the result given the problems I was having.

"The silver medal hasn't quite sunk in yet and I might go and have a celebratory beer tonight. I haven't had one for three months and I reckon I will enjoy it," he added.

Australian team manager Kurt Olsen said Zappelli's performance was the ideal launching pad for the hosts.

"Anton shot really well and it is a great start to our campaign. It's given the team a real shot of confidence," he said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Oleksii Denysiuk outclassed Zivko Papaz (Serbia) and China's Xing Huang to capture gold in the mixed 25m pistol SH1.

Australia's Chris Pitt and Rohan Daw were 18th and 45th respectively.

In the other gold medal event, South Korea proved too strong for China and Ukraine in the mixed 25m pistol SH1 team event.


AAP