“My wife began shooting Para sport three months ago, so these days we train together. When I helped her to practise basic techniques, I found that her beginning level of performance made me look back on myself and refine my skills, too.”
One thing has changed for Jinho Park, and it has given him new motivation to shoot for gold in his strongest event, which takes place on Tuesday (3 May), day five of the 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships in Cheongju, South Korea.
His wife Yeon Ju Yang has been by his side throughout his home Championships.
It is not only her support that has changed Park’s mindset, as he will aim to defend his R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) title on Tuesday.
“My wife began shooting Para sport three months ago, so these days we train together,” he said. “When I helped her to practise basic techniques, I found that her beginning level of performance made me look back on myself and refine my skills, too.”
“Therefore I was quite motivated. Also I can share more things about my work with her, so we rely on each other more,” he explained, while Yang said that she is just working hard in order not to affect Park’s reputation.
Park won the R3 event at the 2014 World Championships in Suhl, Germany. It was his only major career gold medal.
He came close to another one on day one Friday in the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) but came away with silver.
“Firstly I’m satisfied to earn a quota place for Tokyo 2020,” he said. “The gold medallist [Slovakia’s Radoslav Malenovsky] shot very well. But at the same time it was regrettable that I couldn’t show my very best performance, because I over-paced a little bit at the end of the match.”
Park made his Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 but left without a medal.
However, Park, 40, thinks he is still on the journey to becoming a complete athlete.
“The more I get to know this sport, the more I find difficulties,” he continued.
“At a competition many thoughts have distracted me from performing as usual. I realised that I should work on the sport as being simple-minded.”
“Even if I was a champion and achieved many outstanding results, no one knows what will happen today,” Park said. “It is more important for me to devote to fire a shot each moment.”
“Here is not my ultimate destination, but it is just part of the process of achieving my long-term goal,” he added.
“Therefore, at this event, I want to show my satisfactory performance and accumulate more experiences in the finals.”
Cheongju 2018 runs until 11 May.
All finals will be streamed live on the Cheongju 2018 website. Daily highlights and photos can be found on World Shooting Para Sport's Facebook page.
Live results and a complete schedule are available here.