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Competition wrapped up this morning for the Para-shooting team with Anton Zappelli lining up on the final day of the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Zappelli, who was the first athlete to secure a quota for Australia in the R6 Mixed Rifle Prone SH1, placed 11th after an admirable performance in the highly competitive field scoring 616.0. Just 1.4 points away from making the final.

“I didn’t go too bad considering. It’s a bit frustrating, I had some pretty wild shots in there, but overall, it’s not too bad. I finished just outside the final, which is shame,” he said.

“I didn’t achieve what I wanted to achieve, so I am a little bit disappointed, but considering the past 12-18 months, with fairly limited preparation, it’s not so bad when you weight everything up.”

While his own performance did not match his expectations he was happy to be part of an event that overcame the challenges of Covid and provided an enjoyable experience.

“It’s been great considering the Covid set up, they have done a fantastic job keeping everyone safe and running events. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful, it’s really clean and tidy and runs on time, it’s awesome, you couldn’t get a better competition set up really,” he said.

The father of ten year old twin boys, Angus and Henry and five year old Josie shared his gratitude for the invaluable support he had received from his family.

“I’m really grateful for everything my family have done for me, especially my wife Kate, who has been so tolerant and made a lot of sacrifices to help me get here,” he said.

“The kids called last night to wish me a happy father’s day and good luck in my match. Josie has been asking when I am coming home, but I had to tell her I won’t be back for another couple of weeks. She’s Dad’s little girl.

“I’m looking forward to getting home, and seeing the family. It’s been a long six weeks without seeing them.”

The conclusion of the Games doesn’t mark the end of Zappelli’s journey, with him planning to rest and reset before getting back into a full training schedule.

“I’ll have a bit of a rest and then get back into it, with the focus of world championships next year. I am also aiming for Paris in 2024 but will take things one step at a time,” he said.

By: Amanda Scott, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 5 September 2021