Local athlete Matt Skelhon on target for ParalympicsGB for Rio 2016

Matt Skelhon

Matt Skelhon - Credit: Archant

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) have announced that local athlete Matt Skelhon is among 10 shooters who will compete for ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016, alongside fellow London 2012 medallist James Bevis.

Skelhon heads to his third Games as the most decorated athlete on the team, having won gold on his debut at Beijing 2008 and added a silver and bronze medal to the ParalympicsGB tally at London 2012.

Speaking yesterday, he said: “Representing your country at a Paralympic Games is such an honour and I’m absolutely delighted to be selected to the team for Rio. It makes all of the hours of training so worthwhile. The level of competition is rising and it can all come down to one shot, so I’ll need to be on top of my game in September.

“I’ll be urging the public to support me and help Supercharge ParalympicsGB. It means so much to have the public really rooting for us. It makes a difference.”

Karen Butler is the most experienced athlete to make the cut, with four Games appearances already under her belt since she made her debut at Barcelona 1992.

She said: “I’ve had my sights set on Rio from the moment I finished competing at London 2012, so I couldn’t be happier to know I’ve got my place booked on the plane for Rio. The support I’ve had back at home has been incredible and it makes all the difference, I hope I can go out there and make everyone proud.”

Issy Bailey, Owen Burke, Lorraine Lambert and Stewart Nangle have impressed in international competition to stake their claim on the team for the first time and are set to make their Paralympic debut in Rio.

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Penny Briscoe MBE, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome these athletes to ParalympicsGB and would like to congratulate them on their selection to the team.

“This sport demonstrates incredible strength in depth and all of these athletes have proved themselves by delivering consistent results in international competition, giving us real confidence heading into the Games.”

Team Leader Pasan Kularatne said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of hard work from these athletes, and I’m very proud of their contribution to this sport. We have enjoyed great success this cycle, with countless World Cup medals but the highlight must be a world title for Matt Skelhon with a World Record score. We know just how high the standard of competition is internationally, so we will make sure we have everything covered in our preparations for the Games.”

The announcement brings the number of selected athletes to a total of 91, across the sports of sailing, judo, table tennis, powerlifting, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball (women’s), swimming and shooting.