Park hogs limelight as curtains fall in Changwon 

Korean veteran set a new world record in R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 even as Paralympic stars Vadovicova, Benson win gold, and Javanmardi returns to take bronze in second World Cup of 2024 02 May 2024
Shooters celebrate after their event
Home favourite Jinho Park (from left), Slovakia's Veronika Vadovicova and Korea's Lee Jangho celebrate their R3-mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1 medals in Changwon.
ⒸKSFD (Korean Shooting Federation for the Disabled)
By World Shooting Para Sport

The Changwon 2024 WSPS World Cup witnessed some exciting contests with former champions stamping their dominance while some others geared up for the all-important European Championships and Paralympic Games in Paris, in style.

This was the second World Cup of the season after New Delhi 2024 and the event lived up to the expectations with 125 athletes from 27 nations vying for top honours in the port city of South Korea. 

Home glory    

While there were several moments of glory for the Korean shooters at home, their veteran star Jinho Park, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medallist, stole the show setting a new world record in R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 finals. 

Qualifying in third place, Park pulled off a start-to-finish victory to accumulate 252.3 points for a new world record. The 46-year-old Park broke the earlier record of Slovakian legend Veronika Vadovicova, who finished second in Changwon shooting 250.9.

Vadovicova held the world record, 251.9 (Munich 2022), for almost two years before Park improved it by 0.4 points in Changwon.

Among others who put Korea on the top of podium were Park Seungwoo (R4 - mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) and former world champion Jo Jeongdu (P4 - mixed 50m pistol SH1).

Korea also put up a dominating show in team event when Park combined with Lee Yunri to thrash Kazakhstan's Anna Dovgelevich and Yerkin Gabbasov 16-0 in R10 - mixed team 10m air rifle standing SH1.

Gabbasov, however, ensured a gold medal for Kazakhstan winning the R1- men's 10m air rifle standing SH1 finals. 

Seasoned stars dominate

In rifle events, seasoned stars stamped their dominance with Slovakia's Vadovicova and Sweden's Annan Benson clinching at least one final. 

In R3 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1, the position was switched as Vadovicova, the four-time Paralympic champion, finished on top with Korean Park settling for second.

The Slovakian star also had second place finishes in several other events.

Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik shot a better 458.6, than New Delhi where she claimed the gold, but settled for the silver in R8 - women's 50m rifle 3 positions SH1, which was won by reigning world champion from Sweden, Anna Benson with 460.9 points.

However, Shchetnik's compatriot Denysiuk saved the best for the last to win the P3 - mixed 25m pistol SH1 finals with 28 points. 

There were some like India's Mona Agarwal who continued from where they left in season-opener New Delhi 2024 World Cup, clinching her second straight gold medal in R2 - women's 10m air rifle standing SH1. Agarwal overcame a strong field comprising Vadovicova, Benson, Yunri and Shchetnik to take the gold medal with a score of 250.8.

Javanmardi takes bronze on return

Among other top names, Iran’s Paralympic champion Sareh Javanmardi settled for a bronze medal in her first competition of the season, in P2 - women's 10m air pistol SH1 finals which was won by her compatriot Nasrin Shahi Samakhoun (239.7). 

Indian junior Bhakti Sharma claimed the silver with a junior world record effort of 234.2 points, Sharma also combined with India’s promising star Nihal Singh to win the P6 - mixed team 10m air pistol SH1 finals over Iran 16-6.

Neutral Para Athletes also put up some impressive shows as Marina Abdullina (249.6) and Vlada Bespalova (249.2) claimed the 1-2 positions in R9 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH2. World champion and world record holder Tanguy de La Forest settled for fourth place. 

You can follow the action and the best moments from Changwon on the World Shooting Para Sport social media channels. 

Complete results will be available here.

What's next?

After Changwon, the focus will move to Europe for the European Championships in Granada, Spain from 30 May to 7 June. This will be the last event where athletes can earn a quota place for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.