New Delhi 2024: Steady shooting and stamina propel Reinaldo to top

Spaniard signs off on high even as China finish on top and Turkey's Civek secures quota on final day of season's first World Cup 15 Mar 2024
Medallists on podium
Gold medallist Juan Antonio Saavedra Reinaldo (centre) poses with silver and bronze medallists China's Dong Chao and Sweden's Anna Benson in the podium of R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 finals.
ⒸParalympic Committee of India
By Priyanka Sharma l For World Shooting Para Sport

The New Delhi 2024 World Cup ended with thrilling contests with Spain’s Juan Antonio Saavedra Reinaldo displaying a dominant show of precision and physical strength to reign supreme in R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 finals on Thursday (14 March).

In an energy-sapping 50m final contested by several champions, the one who tackled the conditions well and showed strong accuracy and stamina excelled. Reinaldo, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist, rode on his experience to shoot 250.6 in the final and finish ahead of the Chinese seasoned star Dong Chao (249.6).

Chao, the Paralympic champion, already had collected two gold medals at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting ranges here.

However, it was Sweden’s Anna Benson, the world champion in R8 category, who displayed steely determination to lead the field with three competition series to go. Eventually Benson ended in third place.

Interesting final

The Spaniard Reinaldo described the final as “interesting”. 

“As the hall is open here, it’s a bit tricky with wind, I was aiming really well with a lot of good stability but I shaked several times. But if you shake a lot, you overpass so that’s why I had two 9s. It was tricky but it was fun. I prefer this kind of final where you have to work to understand the wind and conditions,” he said.

With less than six months to fo the Paris 2024 Paralympics, the gold medal in New Delhi was definitely a big boost to the 50-year-old’s confidence and he is not thinking of any other medal than the ‘gold’. 

“I will not sign for bronze or silver, I want to sign for the gold. I will work hard and see how things are going forward at this period, give my best shot and have confidence in myself that I can be at least fighting for the medals in Paris,” the London 2012 medallist added. 

China end atop

In the other event of the day - R5 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2 – Turkey’s Hakan Cevik clinched the quota and gold medal with 255.1, which was laced impressive scores of 10.9s, 10.8s, 10.7s in a nail-biting final.

Italy’s Gianluca Iacus (254.2) and France’s multiple-time world champion Tanguy De La Forest (231.7) claimed the silver and bronze in the final event of the World Cup.

“This was my World Cup gold medal. It was a good final and I believed in myself during the final,” said Cevik. 

Overall, China finished on the top with 17 medals that had 11 gold followed by Italy with three gold and hosts India with two gold medals.

The hosts altogether collected 16 medals even as seven new and equal world records were set, and 21 regional records broken at the first World Cup of the season. 20 quota places were also allotted to nations during the six-day event.

Results from the competitions at New Delhi 2024 World Cup can be found here.

What's next

The Shooting Para Sport action will next move to Changwon, Republic of Korea in April for the second World Cup of the season.

This will follow the important Granada 2024 WSPS European Championships, that will offer the last chance for the European shooters to vie for quota spots for Paris 2024.