Iryna Shchetnik wasn’t complaining about her two second place finishes at the Al Ain 2022 World Shooting Para Sport Championships. But her eyes were always on the gold medal.
On the day, she followed her usual process of shooting; took her time before aiming her shots and eventually steered Ukraine, which also comprised Andrii Doroshenko, the Paralympic silver medallist in R1, to the gold medal in R10 - 10m air rifle standing mixed team SH1 event.
In doing so, the pair also defended their Sydney 2019 Worlds title in the event.
There was more joy for Ukraine as the duo registered a new world record in the qualification - scoring 622.7, bettering the earlier record, also held by them, of 621.4 in Munich 2022 World Cup.
In the finals, they defeated the experienced Korean pair (2) of Lee Yunri, Beijing 2008 champion, and Shim Young Jip 16-6. Having taken time to get into the rhythm, Ukraine first equalled the score at 2-all before going to lead at 10-4 and eventually 16-6 for the gold.
Leading 14-6, Doroshenko along with the Korean pair shot 10.3 in the final series while Shchetnik hit a brilliant 10.5 to help her side clinch the gold medal and successfully defend their title.
“It was an impressive win. The gold medal is the result of hard work and a good combination," said an elated Shchetnik, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist in R3.
“I wasn’t too happy about my scores in the final, but I think men should always score better. I am happy to manage a great final shot,” said the 23-year-old from Odesse who also thanked the UAE government for helping the Ukraine team to compete in the championships.
“The next goal is Paris 2024 gold medal.”
Bronze medal match
Before the finals, another pair from Korea (1) comprising Park Jinho, Tokyo 2020 silver medallist in R3, and Yoojeong Lee clinched the bronze medal after they defeated the Indian duo of Avani Lekhara, Tokyo 2020 gold and bronze medallist, and Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar 16-8 in the bronze medal match.
Trailing 4-14, the Indian side tried to make a comeback riding of Lekhara’s brilliant scores, but it was too little too late.
In the medals table, Korea still leads with 14 medals including five gold, followed by Italy and France.
The World Championships will run until Thursday (17 November) with live action on World Shooting Para Sport Facebook page. Live results will be available here.