Lima 2023: Female Ones to Watch

Some of the world's best to watch out for at this year's World Championships in the Peruvian capital 12 Sep 2023
Two female shooters hugging
Slovakia's Veronika Vadovicova (left) and Ukraine's Iryna Shchetnik will be facing each other in some of the most exciting rifle events at the Lima 2023 Worlds
ⒸNarelle Spangher | Sydney 2019
By World Shooting Para Sport

Lima, Peru will make history as the Shooting Para Sport World Championships takes place in the Americas region for the first time from 21 to 28 September.

Among the more than 260 athletes competing at the Las Palmas Air Base shooting range are many familiar faces who have visited the podium in major events.

Today we look at the female athletes to watch out for at this year’s Worlds.

Cuiping Zhang (China)

A five-time Paralympic champion and 11-time Paralympic medallist, the Chinese star will be in action in four individual rifle events in Lima. Zhang has two World Championships gold medals to her name (one from Suhl 2014 and one in a team event at Sydney 2019) and will be making her return to the competition after four years as she did not compete in the Al Ain Worlds in 2022. More about Zhang's results can be found here.

Gabriela Licona (Mexico)

One of the most promising names in the sport in Latin America, Licona has a special couple of months ahead with the World Championships in Lima followed by the Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile in November. Part of a growing programme in Mexico, she will be in action in the P2 - women's 10m air pistol SH1 marking her second World Championships appearance.

Iryna Shchetnik (Ukraine) 

At only 23, Shchetnik has one of the most impressive CVs in shooting Para sport. The two-time Paralympic medallist made her World Championships debut in Cheongju, South Korea five years ago picking one bronze medal in the R2 – women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1. A year later, she left Sydney with four medals from her second Worlds – including two golds. Shchetnik added three more to her collection at Al Ain 2022 (two silver and a gold in the R10 team event). The Ukrainian will compete in four individual events in Lima, including the R2 in which she took the European title last month in Rotterdam.

Natascha Hiltrop (Germany)

Hiltrop made history when she became the first German to win Paralympic gold in the sport in 17 years at Tokyo 2020 with her triumph in the R3 – mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1. A three-time Paralympic medallist, she picked her first podium in World Championships at Sydney 2019 – actually not one, but three podiums. Hiltrop will compete in four individual events in Peru, among them the R3 and R6 in which she bagged medals (silver and bronze, respectively) at last year’s Worlds in Al Ain.

Veronika Vadovicova (Slovakia)

Arguably one of the best athletes in the history of the sport, the Slovakian has six Paralympic medals to her name – four of them gold! It is a rare scene to find an event in which Vadovicova has not made a podium visit. Just five weeks ago she picked a gold and a silver at the European Para Championships. Vadovicova will be defending her Al Ain 2022 world title in the R2 and R3 events, and will also be in action in the R6 and R8.

You will be able to follow all the action, behind the scenes and results from Lima 2023 World Championships on the World Shooting Para Sports channels.