“My goal for the first half of the year is to regain my physical strength and adapt to the new circumstances.”
Hungarian pistol shooter Krisztina David is planning a successful return to the range at the IPC Shooting World Cup Paralympic qualifier in Osijek, Croatia, in July, despite having undergone open-heart surgery in February.
The 39 year-old, who won silver in P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1) at the 2014 World Championships in Suhl, Germany, is determined to recover as quickly as possible.
“My goal for the first half of the year is to regain my physical strength and adapt to the new circumstances,” she said. “Some say, ‘we never forget how to ride a bicycle’ and I assure you it’s totally true about shooting as well. My trainer and I are scheduling my return to the international competition circuit to take place in July, and I’m absolutely confident I will be back at the top with results similar to last year”
David is no stranger to set-backs in her career. Whilst recovering from a serious shoulder injury in the build-up to Suhl 2014, she developed tennis elbow in her shooting arm and believes this experience will help her in 2015.
“This affected my preparations and prevented me from participating in certain training sessions,” she said. “However, thanks to the previous injury I was able to handle the mental challenge - even though I felt pain, I could keep my focus on technique and stay determined.”
David’s favourite event remains P2, but she also shoots P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1) and P4 (mixed 50m pistol SH1), events that she says she took up “for fun”.
Rio 2016 is just over a year away and David will be looking to get as much training under her belt as possible so she can better her performance from London 2012 with podium results in all three events.
“My recent experiences have made me more determined and disciplined,” she commented. “Unfortunately, as I have a full-time job, allocating time for training can be tricky. Because of my work hours, I don’t really make it to the shooting range during the day, so I make up for it with dry firing. However, this season I plan on spending even more time shooting in order to perform better in all three numbers in Rio” she said.
With the likes of current P2 world record holder, Iran’s Sareh Javanmardidodmani and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Olivera Nakovska-Bikova in the mix, the competition in the women’s field is friendly but fierce. Rio 2016 is shaping up to be the most competitive Paralympic Games to date, but David is not concerned about her rivals. Instead her sole focus is recovery, training and competition.
“Here’s what I’m expecting from myself in Rio; I expect to take my stand in the shooting line as a more experienced, more mature competitor, who is better equipped to handle the experience of high-stakes competition. London sure set high standards with excellent organising and outstanding conditions, but I’m positive we can expect the same in Rio.
“All I know is, I’m bringing my A-game.”
The Paralympic qualifier in Osijek runs from 10-14 July and is followed by a further two World Cups that act as qualifiers, in Sydney, Australia, from 15-19 September and Fort Benning, USA, from 3-7 November.