“As things are slowly settling down and getting back to normal, I am more and more able to focus on my beloved sport again and perform better.”
A bronze medal at the 2013 IPC Shooting European Championships, silver at the 2014 World Championships – Hungarian Krisztina David’s career seemed to be heading toward Paralympic gold at Rio 2016. That is, until she underwent open-heart surgery in early 2015, which forced her to miss most of last year’s shooting season.
Although the 40-year-old impressively returned to the shooting range by securing a World Cup win in the P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1) last November in Fort Benning, USA – only a few months after the surgery – she admitted that what looked like a dream comeback was less easy to achieve than it might have seemed:
“I had to be extremely patient with myself to be able to come back from that setback at the right time,” David said. “It took me six months of rehabilitation and two World Cups to get back to the level I had been at before my surgery. Fort Benning was the first time I shot a solid result that I was really satisfied with again.”
In terms of trying to get back to the top of her game, 2016 has been rocky for David.
“My everyday life has been a lot more stressful than usual lately, so my results have been below my expectations, but I am OK with that for now,” she said. “As things are slowly settling down and getting back to normal, I am more and more able to focus on my beloved sport again and perform better.”
In order to improve her performance, she said she is working on her technique and strategy.
“We have been testing my performance under different conditions as well as my adaptation skills,” David said. “Although I know how to build up the perfect shot in my usual environment, I have to be able to shoot 10s in all kinds of circumstances. For example, at an event like the Paralympics, shooting a strong result in the qualification round is different from shooting in the finals, where the pressure is much higher. That is why I will also be putting more and more emphasis on mental work in the weeks leading up to Rio.”
At her second Paralympics in Rio, David’s main focus will be her favourite event, the P2 (women's 10 m air pistol SH1).
She said her toughest competition might come from Iranian world champion Sareh Javanmardidodmani, Azerbaijan’s European gold medallist Yelena Taranova, Ukraine’s Olga Kovalchuk or The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Olivera Nakovska-Bikova.
“I think there are six to eight athletes any one of whom has the potential to be a big surprise,” David said. “And we all work so hard to make the dream happen – the three of us who will earn the medals will most certainly deserve them. All I can do is work really hard on my own performance and hope that the amount of time and energy I am putting into shooting will pay off at the Games. As vague as it may sound, I can only say that I am hoping for a performance and results [that] I will feel satisfied with at that particular point.”
That being said, when asked about an imaginary news headline she would like to read about herself after her second Paralympic Games, David added jokingly:
“A cool David Bowie [a British songwriter] reference such as ‘Krisztina David – A hero, just for one day’ would be great.”
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.