14 Jun 2016

Johnson leads para-shooting team for Rio

11:36 am on 14 June 2016

Auckland shooter Michael Johnson will represent New Zealand for the fourth straight time at a Paralympic Games, after being selected for the Rio Games in September.

New Zealand para-shooter Michael Johnson.

New Zealand para-shooter Michael Johnson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Johnson headlines a three-strong Para-shooting team that includes debutants Jason Eales and Greg Reid.

He is a Paralympic gold medallist and current world number one.

Johnson has won three medals across three Paralympic Games (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012). He currently holds the world record and is ranked number one in the world in the R4 Mixed 10m Air Rifle standing SH2 class and number five in the R5 Mixed 10m Air Rifle SH2 prone events. Johnson is aiming for two gold medals in Rio.

Jason Eales is a relative newcomer to Para-sport, after being discovered through the Paralympics New Zealand Talent Identification Programme in 2012. Last year, Eales burst onto the international Para-Shooting scene winning bronze at only his second IPC Shooting World Cup event in Sydney.

Greg Reid has always had a love of shooting and competed in able-bodied competitions until 2000. In 2009 he competed in his first Para-Shooting Nationals and was hooked. More recently Greg set a new Oceania record at the 2015 IPC Shooting World Cup in Sydney.

A team of 27 have been named for Rio so far, across Para-shooting, Para-athletics, Para-cycling, Para-swimming and Para-sailing.

Para-shooters have featured in the New Zealand team at seven Summer Paralympic Games since Arnhem 1980. The country has won a total of five medals from a small but talented group of eight Paralympians across these seven Games.