After two days of shooting, Ukraine and South Korea are dominating the competition, having secured five of the first eight gold medals in dispute at the Lima 2021 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Peru.
Ukraine got off to a great start thanks to 21-year-old Iryna Shchetnik. Coming off four medals at the Sydney 2019 World Championships, the young Ukrainian left no chance for her opponents in the R8 (women's 50m rifle 3 positions SH1).
She finished with 448.1 points, beating Thailand’s Wannipa Leungvilai (443.0) in the final round. British Leslie Stewart completed the podium.
“I felt a lot of emotions during the competition. It took us 14 hours to get to Peru, it was quite difficult,” said Shchetnik.
The P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1) event saw Indian shooter Rahul Jakhar winning the gold medal. He beat Younmi Kim, silver medallist from South Korea, and Xiao Gong, bronze medallist from USA.
“It was a wonderful competition in a great range,” said Jakhar, who finished with a score of 31. Kim scored 27, while Gong ended with 24.
The other events on day one in Lima had European winners. Ukraine’s Andrii Doroshenko beat his fellow countryman Yurii Stoiev in the R7 (men's 50m rifle 3 positions SH), with Israeli Doron Shaziri getting the bronze medal.
In the R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2), Italy’s Andrea Liverani beat France’s Kevin Liot in the final, while India’s Sriharsha Devaraddi Ramakrishna ended in third.
In the team events, Ukraine won gold in the R4 (team mixed SH2 10m air rifle standing), with Italy taking silver and Thailand bronze. In the P3 (team mixed 25m pistol SH1), USA claimed their first gold in Lima, followed by India with silver and Russia with bronze.
Golden Monday for South Korea
South Korea topped the podium on Monday’s two events. Su Wan Kim was the champion in the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1), preventing Doroshenko from repeating the gold medal from day one. Kozhemyakin completed the podium winning the second bronze medal for Russia in Lima.
The R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) was a repate the story repeated itself as Yoojeong Lee won gold against Shchetnik in an exciting final round. The difference between them in the final shot was just 0.2.
Lee scored a 10.7, while Shchetnik got a 9.5 shot. Emilia Babska, from Poland, won the first medal of the World Cup for her country.
The first two days in Lima saw a total of nine athletes earning quota allocations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
In the R8 (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1), an emotional Lesley Stewart celebrated the qualification as she remembered the troubled path she had to endure.
“I’m over the moon. I had a long three years with an injury, so it was unexpected to be able to perform like this. I’m going home with the qualification and the bronze medal,” said the British shooter with a smile.
All the action live on Facebook
For Jacopo Capelli, the road was similar, but the feeling was different. The Italian athlete earned a fourth place in the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1), enough to get the quota allocation for Tokyo 2020 and ensure another chance to beat his rivals.
“To win a medal in the World Cup would have been fantastic. But now I have the official spot for Tokyo and I know I’ll have my revenge there,” said an emotional Capelli. “I worked very hard and sacrificed a lot, but it paid off in the end.”
In the P3 (mixed 25m pistol SH1), India’s Rahul Jakhar, South Korea’s Younmi Kim, and France’s David Auclair also got quota allocations for their countries, while UAE’s Ayesha Almehairi and Kevin Liot of France qualified in the R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2).
Completing the list so far, Deepak from India qualified in the R7 (men’s 50m rifle 3 positions), and Suzan Cevik from Turkey got a spot in Tokyo in the R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1).
The World Cup continues on Tuesday with the P1 (men’s 10m air pistol SH1) and P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1) events, while the R9 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH2) event takes place on Wednesday.
You can watch the Lima 2021 World Cup live on World Shooting Para Sport Facebook page.