Matt Skelhon hoping to complete ‘epic’ title hat-trick with Paralympic gold

British shooter Matt Skelhon says it would be “epic” to complete a Paralympic, world and European clean sweep in the same season as he targets success at Paris 2024 following the disappointment of Tokyo 2020.

Skelhon, who won gold on his Paralympic debut in Beijing in 2008 and also claimed bronze and silver medals at London 2012, failed to qualify for the final in either of his events in Japan.

The 39-year-old has since discovered a renewed sense of focus and topped the podium at November’s world championships in Lima, Peru before clinching European glory earlier this month in Granada, Spain.

He will now bid to complete a hat-trick of major titles in the R6 50m rifle prone event after on Friday being named in a four-strong GB team for France.

“I’m addicted to trying to get better and trying to being the best,” Skelhon, who will also enter the R3 10m air rifle prone competition between August 28 and September 8, told the PA news agency.

“I enjoy the attention to detail – and that feeling when you win a gold medal, there’s nothing like that in the world.

“Being European and world champion at the moment is absolutely mega. I would love to have all three titles in one season. That would be epic.

Matt Skelhon won gold on his Paralympic debut in 2008
Matt Skelhon won gold on his Paralympic debut in 2008 (Rebecca Naden/PA)

“It’s a very realistic possibility. My performances in training, my performance in competition recently is right where it needs to be.

“I’ve just got to focus on myself, trust in my talent and hopefully it should all come together.”

Skelhon, who suffered a spinal injury in a car accident in 2005, is joined in his country’s squad by returning Paralympians Ryan Cockbill, Tim Jeffrey and Issy Bailey.

Shooting was the only one of 19 sports entered by GB at the rescheduled Tokyo Games three years ago which failed to produce a medal.

“I was disappointed in my own performance – I was hard on myself, rather than being concerned of the wider thing,” said Peterborough-born Skelhon, who is preparing for his fifth Paralympics.

“I maybe didn’t make the right decisions or put in the amount of effort in areas I needed to, so I didn’t want that to be my downfall this time.

“I’ve been a little bit more focused this cycle, more determined to come out on top.”