Changwon 2023: World stars back to action in South KoreaWorld Cup 2023 kicks off in Asia with the best of India, China's return to international stage and the hosts trying to replicate last year's success 24 May 2023
The 2023 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup season is about to kick off this week in Changwon, South Korea. While shooters are eager to be on the shooting line after a span of six months, there will be a lot at stake with Paris 2024 Paralympic quota on offer from 25 to 30 May.
What do we know going into Changwon?
Changwon, one of the largest cities in South Korea and few kilometres away from Busan, will host the first World Cup of 2023. The venue, the Changwon International Shooting Range, has a rich legacy of the 2018 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships which saw more than one thousand athletes competing in 59 events.
The Korean city held a World Shooting Para sport World Cup for the first-time last year and will be hosting the event annually through to 2025.
Who to watch out for from the hosts?
South Korea already have a galaxy of stars in their ranks who will be competing in Changwon eyeing glory at home.
While their seasoned stars Park Jinho and Lee Yunri will be among the favourites in men’s and women’s 10m rifle events, reigning world champion pistol shooters Jo Jeong-du and Kim Jung-nam will be hoping to repeat their winning show of the Al Ain 2022 Worlds at home.
Korean shooters took the hosts to the top of the medals table in last year’s World Cup (27 medals, 10 gold), followed by France and Iran, respectively in second and third.
Who else are competing?
As many as 226 shooters from 41 nations will be fighting out for the top places and quotas in Changwon, with Asian shooters to be in focus. China make their return to a major competition after a long absence, while there will be top shooters from India and Ukraine who are expected to be among the medals.
China, who missed out the World Championships 2022 at Al Ain, United Arab Emirates in November 2022, will be out to grab the maximum quota places. They will have the likes of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic stars Dong Chao, Zhang Cuiping and Yang Chao ready to impress with their shooting skills.
For India, Paralympic stars Avani Lekhara, Manish Narwal and Singhraj will lead the charge with the team’s focus to win their 100th international medal in shooting Para sport, besides the quotas.
The athletes will be aiming to pull off a few good individual results after a not-so-great Worlds campaign last November.
“Looking forward to the Changwon World Cup. A tournament after a while, so I am looking forward to implementing all the learnings from my recent training. Para shooting has come a long way in our country, and it’s wonderful that we’re approaching our 100th medal. Surely just another milestone along the way as we continue to propel towards greater heights,” said Lekhara.
Meanwhile, Ukraine will rest their hopes on their Paralympic and World Championships stars Vasyl Kovalchuk in 10m air rifle prone 2 and Iryna Shchetnik in women’s 10m air rifle standing events.
France’s top shooter Tanguy de La Forest would be eager to continue his winning momentum after his double World title - in mixed 10m air rifle standing and mixed 50m air rifle prone events - at Al Ain 2022.
How can I follow?
The action at Changwon will be live on the World Shooting Para Sport Facebook page! So, follow World Shooting Para Sport social media channels to watch the best moments from the first World Cup of the season.
Complete results will be available here.
After Changwon, the focus will move to Europe for the Osijek 2023 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Croatia. The World Cup will feature rifle, pistol, shotgun and visually impaired events to be held from 4 to 13 July.