Al Ain 2022: De la Forest clinches second title

French shooter wins close R9 final to continue good run; Ozgan picks Turkey's first gold medal while Spain's Txakartegi records emotional win in VI event 12 Nov 2022
Medallists pose with their medals at the podium of R9 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH2 in Al Ain on Friday.
Medallists pose with their medals at the podium of R9 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH2 in Al Ain on Friday.
ⒸAlaa Elarnaouty / Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination
By Priyanka Sharma l World Shooting Para Sport

France’s Tanguy De la Forest continued his impressive run to clinch his second title at the Al Ain 2022 World Shooting Para Sport Championships after winning a close final on Friday (11 November).

In the final moments, De la Forest held his nerves and focus to overcome a strong challenge from Italy’s Livia Cecagallina and Ukraine’s Vitalii Plakushchyi to take the gold in R9 - Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH2. 

The French shooter eventually shot 250.8, finishing 1.3 shots ahead of Cecagallina (249.5) and way ahead of Plakushchyi (228.6), who secured a Paris 2024 quota.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Dragan Ristic ended on sixth place, while local player Saeed Alblooshi, who had a strong home crowd support, managed a fifth place with 186.6.

“It feels great to win here again. Each final and win is different and there’s pressure, but I am happy to win my second title at Al Ain. The entire French team was cheering for me, so it was a big motivation,” said De la Forest, who had claimed the R4 - mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2 title two days ago.

“With each win, I feel more confident, and I want to carry this momentum for future events.”

Turkey gets 1st gold

Meanwhile, Turkey claimed its first gold at the Al Ain 2022 World Championships thanks to Aysel Ozgan’s efforts who also clinched her first World title on the day.

In a thrilling P2 - women's 10m air pistol SH1 finals, Ozgan rode on her steady shooting to defeat a field that had Paralympic winners.

With last two shots remaining, Ozgan who stayed in second place for a while moved to the top while the other title contenders - Iran's Nasrin Shahi Samakhoun and Hungary's Krisztina David - were tied in a shoot-off, with David settling for a bronze.

Ozgan eventually finished with 233.1 for the gold medal followed by Samakhoun on 230.9 points.

“I am very happy and excited. This win is important in my career and going ahead,” said the Turkish player.

Woth Ozgul and David having already secured Paris 2024 berths, Samakhoun and Korea's Aeekyung Moon, who finished fourth, secured the quotas for their respective countries in the category.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medallist Aysegul Pehlivanlar ended in fifth place.

Emotional Txakartegi

In visually impaired category, Spain’s Ager Solabarrieta Txakartegi recorded an emotional win riding on his consistent shooting which saw him shooting couples of 10.8s.

Solabarrieta Txakartegi, who led major part of the VIP - 10m air rifle VI prone finals, finished on 245.8 for the gold, followed by Poland's Grzegorz Klos (241.4) and Croatia's Fran Skracic (215.1).

“I am still shaking. It’s amazing. This is the result of hard training with my assistant (my wife). It’s incredible!

“This is my first major championships title after the European Championships. I finished crying actually,” said Solabarrieta Txakartegi who has been assisted by his wife for the last 17 years.

The World Championships will run until November 17 with live action on World Shooting Para Sport Facebook page. Live results will be available here.