Singhraj heaved a sigh of relief, kissed his pistol and said a quick prayer before he went to acknowledge the team’s support. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medallist had won a gold medal – his first in P4- mixed 50m pistol SH1 event – at the Munich 2022 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup that concluded on Tuesday (19 July).
Before that, Singhraj had combined with Deepender Singh and Manish Narwal to take the Team gold as the South Asian nation finished with their best ever show in a World Shooting Para Sport event.
At the end of five day’s action, India topped the medals standings with 10 medals including six gold, three silver and one Bronze. France (11) and Ukraine (15) took the second and third places with four and three golds, respectively.
Singhraj, who qualified in fourth place, produced a steady shooting to accumulate 224.1 points and record a pillar to post finish in the finals. Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk, who had won a gold on the penultimate day, was second with 216.2 points, ahead of South Korea’s Jeongdu Jo (193.9).
“This gold is special as it is my first in this event after several silver and bronze. I would like to thank my coaches for the success,” said Singhraj. “In the last few months, we have worked really hard. Personally, I had worked on my breathing patterns and techniques. I am happy that I could execute my plans in Munich.”
“I am keenly looking forward to the World Championships in Al Ain, which will be hosted in one of my favourite venues. I am confident of doing well there,” added the 40-year-old who aims to continue winning medals for his nation.
Double celebration for De la Forest
Singhraj’s pistol heroics was matched by veteran Tanguy De la Forest in rifle events. The French shooter had displayed nerves of steel to pick up two gold in consecutive days.
In a thrilling R5 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2 final, De la Forest shot perfect 10.8 and 10.6 to defeat Italy’s Pamela Novaglio (253.6) in the final series, taking the gold with 253.8 points. Novaglio, who got 10.6 and 10.6, led throughout the final before De la Forest caught her in the penultimate series at 232.4.
Italy’s Andrea Liverani, who eventually finished sixth, started off impressively with a new world record of 642.7 in the qualification round. Liverani’s brilliant score helped Italy take the Team gold ahead of France and Ukraine.
On the penultimate day, De la Forest had another brilliant event in R9 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH2. He overcame a poor start in the final to shoot a total of 248.0 for the gold, finishing ahead of fellow France shooter Justine Beve (247.4).
Ukraine, Slovakia shine too
The final two days also saw Ukraine securing two gold with Paralympic medallists Denysiuk, Andrii Doroshenko and Iryna Shchetnik claiming individual and team gold.
Denysiuk emerged victorious in the P5 - mixed 10m air pistol standard SH1, while Doroshenko and Iryna Shchetnik claimed the gold in R10 - mixed team 10m air rifle SH1 with a world record qualifying mark of 621.4.
Later, Slovakia took the 1-2 positions in the R3 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1 with Radoslav Malenovsky finishing on top ahead of fellow shooter Veronika Vadovicova, who already has secured a gold with a world record effort in R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1.
Germany also had their share of glory in the event with the team of Natascha Hiltrop, Bernhard Fendt and Cliff Junker taking the Team gold with a new world record score of 1905.
Spain dominates in Para Trap events
In Para trap events, Spain claimed two out of the three gold medals at stake.
Pedro Gomez Albendea in fact set a new world record with 40 points in PT1 - mixed trap seated SG-S finals, while Adrian Becker Castillo claimed the PT3 - mixed trap standing (Upper Limb) SG-U gold medal defeating Luxembourg's Steve Nothum in a shoot-off.
In PT2 - mixed trap standing (Lower Limb) SG-L, Italian Saverio CUCITI reigned supreme.
Meanwhile, David Dulin picked up his second gold in Germany in vision impaired events, this time in the 10m VIP - mixed air rifle VI prone, adding to France's gold tally.
Complete results of the Munich 2022 World Cup are available here.