By Mark Etheridge
Two-time Paralympian shottist Von Zeuner Kohne returned a happy man from the IPC World Cup event in Fort Benning, Columbus, United States.
Kohne competed in three events, the sport pistol, air pistol and free pistol and fared particularly well in the first two.
Sport pistol is shot from a distance of 25 metres, air pistol from 10m and free pistol from 50m, the first and the last events are shot with a .22 calibre and the air pistol with a .177 air pellet calibre.
“I had a score of 575 out of 600 (777.3 after the finals) in the sport pistol,” Kohne told Road to London 2012. “It was a new South African record and I won a silver medal. Then in the air pistol I shot 563/600 (656.1 after the finals), also a new South African record and a fifth place, my highest ever.”
The competition next moved on to the free pistol, an event Kohne says is his least favorite event, where he shot 503 out of 600 which saw him place 11th from 21 competitors.
“To my knowledge I have qualified (IPC qualification score) for next year’s Paralympics in the Sport and Air but not for Free yet. I’ll try in Australia in November to qualify for Free.”
Back in Johannesburg after the US competition 41-year-old Kohne is an accountant by profession and currently experiencing the busiest period of his year. “But I am definitely trying to make sure that I go to London next year. I started shooting at the Robinson Deep shooting club in Booysens, Johannesburg but this club doesn’t exist any more and I’m currently a member of the Alberton Sports Shooting Club in Alrode.”
He joined Sport for the Disabled in St Giles in Rondebosch, Cape Town back in 1998. “That was when I was staying at Prince Albert in the Karoo,” said the veteran of the Sydney and Athens Paralympics in 2000 and 2004 respectively.
Kohne fights a lone battle at his level of the sport. ” I’m the only target shooter in the country at this level. There are events in and outside South Africa but no competitors so I’m pretty much alone.”
Should he make be part of Team South Africa for next year’s Paralympics though, he’ll be in the company of the world’s very best shottists where he can strut his stuff.