Al Ain 2019: Friendship goals!

Chinese teammates cheer each other to World Cup success 19 Feb 2019
Chinese Para shooters Yang Chao and Huang Xing standing either side of a woman and smiling on the podium

Huang Xing (L) and Yang Chao (R) celebrate together on the podium at Al Ain 2019

ⒸAl Ain 2019
By Priyanka Sharma | For World Shooting Para Sport

A genuine sense of camaraderie connects China’s Paralympic gold medallists Yang Chao and Huang Xing. They do not just train together and are friends in the camp but, they share common interest like movies. Recently, they also celebrated the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) together in Sichuan Province in China.

Thus, when Chao took the gold and moreover set a new world record in the P1 (men’s 10m air pistol SH1) final, Xing, who eventually finished second, was happily celebrating his compatriot and friend’s record effort on day three (18 February) of the Al Ain 2019 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in the UAE.

“I am very happy for him. He has worked hard for this,” said Xing, who finished 4.4 points shy of Chao and is looking to work on his consistency and co-operation between targeting and triggering.

“We have been training together for [a] very long time. We started shooting together under the same coach in Hunan Province, back in 2006 and we still train together. We are like brothers and go out for movies together whenever we have time. Recently, we watched the comedy movie Crazy Aliens. It was crazy fun,” he added.

Chao’s 238.6 points broke the world record held by India’s Deepender Singh since the 2017 Bangkok World Cup.

Close final

In what started as a one-sided affair with Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk maintaining a healthy more than 1-point lead, the tables turned midway in the second competition elimination stage. And the Chinese duo took the charge from thereon, with Chao staying ahead of Xing en route taking the gold. Xing finished on 234.2 points for the silver ahead of Denysiuk (213.5).

Chao later admitted he wasn’t happy with his qualification round when he finished second. “I was getting better result than this (more than 240 points) in my training. So, I was disappointed with the qualification. And I sat with my coach and worked on my mistakes. It helped,” said an excited Chao, also a world champion and is aiming to defend his title In Tokyo 2020.

For the Ukrainian Denysiuk, the result was disappointing and he blamed his 8 and 7 scores for the gold medal miss. “This was a bad result for me. But I am happy I am able to check my technique, equipment etc. at the start of the season. I will be ready to take the gold medal at the World Championships,” the Rio 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist promised.

There was also some competition shown by promising Indian Manish Narwal, who got a junior world record qualifying atop with 579 points. He eventually finished in fourth place.

British double

Great Britain duo Tim Jeffery and James Bavis claimed the one-two positions in the R9 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH2) final. Both the players stayed in contention right from the start, with eventual bronze medallist Andrea Liverani from Italy putting some strong competition. Jeffery took the gold with 249.4 points.

In fact, a strong camaraderie was also witnessed between the British duo and they were happy for each other’s success at Al Ain 2019. “I have been shooting longer than Tim. And we train well together and compete against each other too. It’s nice to know each other’s game.

We also advise each other. I am very happy for Tim,” said the silver medallist Bavis who ended on 247.5 points.

You can watch the action from Al Ain live on World Shooting Para Sport’s website, where live results are also available.