Cheongju 2018: First gold goes to Radoslav Malenovsky

China also break two world records on day one of World Championships 04 May 2018 By IPC

Radoslav Malenovsky rose from the bottom to top to be crowned the first gold medallist at the 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships on Friday (4 May) in Cheongju, South Korea.

The Slovakian barely made it out of the qualification round of the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1), where the top eight advance to the finals. He finished ninth, but the disqualification of another athlete gave Malenovsky a second chance.

And he took advantage, securing his first major career victory on day one of the Championships.

“This day was crazy,” Malenovsky said. “I think it was a bit [of] luck.”

“I started working with my father in training, and we built our shooting range. I studied a lot about my body. And then I started to improve myself step by step. The little things, little steps.

“And now we have working like that for three years and my results are growing and growing. And I’m very happy that I am able to have results like today, and my parents had a big contribution to this.”

The 31-year-old was jostling for the lead with home favourite Jinho Park. But Malenovsky shot no fewer than 10 in the elimination stage, including a perfect 10.9 bullseye to win the gold. He finished with a score of 250, just 0.6 points off the world record, which he set in March’s World Cup in Al Ain, UAE.

Ukraine’s Andrii Doroshenko took bronze, matching his finish at the last World Championships in 2014.

Day one continued with two more events, with two world records.

The R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) saw a back-and-forth battle between the top two.

China’s Xiaohong Bai took down Slovakia’s reigning Paralympic champion Veronika Vadovicova, one of the sport’s top athletes, to win the R2 title.

Vadovicova had taken the lead by 0.1 after the 16th shot. But it was short-lived.

Bai maintained steady hands to claim his first career victory since 2015.

“I have been training very hard two months, so with this gold, I feel very excited,” Bai said.

Bai’s score of 248.9 also took down Iryna Shchetnik’s world record, which was only set in March.

But the 18-year-old Ukrainian still made an impressive World Championships debut, taking bronze.

China added another world record in the final event of the day, with defending Paralympic champion Xing Huang winning the P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1).

Shooting 36 points, Huang defeated South Korea’s Chul Park and Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk, who finished second and third, respectively.

“After my bronze medal from the Al Ain World Cup in March, I was very sad,” Huang said. “So I had very strong hopes to win gold here.”

Cheongju 2018 continues on Saturday (5 May) with the R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) competition, and runs until 11 May.

All finals will be streamed live on the Cheongju 2018 website and World Shooting Para Sport’s website. .

Live results and a complete schedule are available here.