Granada 2024: Vadovicova, de La Forest lead star-studded line-up

A total of 152 athletes from 32 nations ready to claim spotlight in the European Championships, offering 10 Paralympic quota spots. The five-day event is held simultaneously with World Para Trap Championships. 31 May 2024
A female athlete competing in a shooting rifle event
Slovakia's six-time Paralympic medallist Veronika Vadovicova is one of the top stars at the Granada 2024 WSPS European Championships.
ⒸToru Hanai/Getty Images
By Priyanka Sharma I For World Shooting Para Sport

Granada, the picturesque city of Spain, is set to host a galaxy of stars including Paralympic and world champions when the WSPS 2024 European Championships get underway from Sunday (2 June).

With a star-studded line-up of 152 athletes from 32 nations, the Championships will be the final event before the Paris 2024 Games offering quota spots to countries.

As many as 10 quotas (two male, two female and six gender free) are on offer in the five-day event which makes the Granada 2024 an important stop in the race to Paralympics.

What to expect?

Thrilling contests could be expected in the next few days with the very best in the business from the continent to be in action.

Seasoned stars Veronika Vadovicova from Slovakia and France’s Tanguy de la Forest will lead a star-studded field with many other names eager to stamp their dominance ahead of Paris 2024 Games. There will be some others keen to earn the available spots for their nations. 

Vadovicova, a four-time Paralympic gold medallist, is a two-time gold medallist at the 2023 Rotterdam European Para Championships in mixed 10m air rifle prone SH-VI and R3- mixed 10 m air rifle prone SH1, while de La Forest is the reigning double world champion in Lima 2023. He claimed the gold medals in R9 mixed 50 metres rifle prone SH2 and R4 mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2.

De La Forest is however looking for his first medal at the Paralympics.

Other International stars

The rifle events will witness several other strong contenders with Paralympic stars from Sweden and Ukraine in the line-up. 

Seasoned and World stars Anna Benson (R3 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) and Philip Jonsson (R4-mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) would be hoping to finetune their skills ahead of Games.

Iryna Shchetnik, the 24-year-old Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist in R3 - Mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1, would be hoping to be in the mix after her golden show in R2-10 m air rifle standing SH1 champion at Rotterdam 2023.

Among other stars to watch out for are Ukraine's Andrii Doroshenko (R1 - men's 10m air rifle standing SH1), Italy's Andrea Liverani (mixed R4 – 10m air rifle standing SH2) and veterans Vasyl Kovalchuk and Dragan Ristic, all of whom are Tokyo 2020 medallists. 

Kovalchuk and Ristic would be hoping to get their rhythm back right before Paralympics.

Local challenge 

The local challenge will be led by Juan Antonio Saavedra Reinaldo (R3 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1). Reinaldo is aiming to put up a similar show of precision and physical strength that fetched him the R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 gold in New Delhi in March.

In pistol events, Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk (P1- men’s 10m air pistol SH1) and Turkiye’s Ayşegül Pehlivanlar (P2 - women’s 10m air pistol SH1) should finish on the podium in their respective categories. 

The five-day event will also feature the visually impaired competitions with some of the top names including Poland’s Barbara Moskel, who created a stir with her golden shows at the Sydney 2019 World Shooting Para Sport Championships, in action.

Local star Ager Solabarrieta Txakartegi, who clinched two gold medals at Lima 2023 WSPS World Championships, would be eager to win medals in frontof home fans.

Top names for Para Trap Worlds

The European Championships will be held simultaneously with the World Para Trap Championships which will have participation of 53 shooters from 17 nations. 

This is the third edition of the Para Trap World Championships, with the first two taking place in Lonato del Garda, Italy.

World’s best trap shooters including former champions will be part of the strong line-up in Granada. Ignacio Javier Oloriz put Spain on the top of the podium in the PT2 – mixed trap standing SG-L, much like in Lonato.

Meanwhile, Cyprus’ Neofytos Nikolaou (PT1 - mixed trap), Finland’s Vesa Jarvinen (PT2 - mixed trap), the world champion from the 2018 Worlds, UAE’s Mohammed Alhebsi (PT2 - mixed trap), all Lonato 2021 Worlds medallists.

Where to folllow?

Complete schedule and results from Granada 2024 WSPS European Championships and Para Trap World Championships can be found here.

The events can be watched on World Shooting Para Sport Facebook page