South Korea continue to dominate at the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships

Jinho Park and Youngjun Jeon both win individual golds and set or equal world records on a day to remember for South Korea at Suhl 2014. 21 Jul 2014
Youngjun Jeon of South Korea, a gold medal winner at Suhl 2014

Youngjun Jeon of South Korea competing in the R4 (Mixed10m Air Rifle Standing) SH2 final at London 2012 Paralympic Games

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“Before starting the final, the head coach told me to remember what I did in practice and do the basics right.”

Jinho Park and Youngjun Jeon both won individual gold at the 2014 IPC Shooting World Championships in Suhl, Germany, on Monday (21 July) on a tremendous day for Korean shooting with the country winning four golds and a total of five out of the eight medals available.

In a thrilling R3 (Mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1) final, Park led from the front and, despite being pushed hard by Great Britain’s Matt Skelhon, was able to claim gold ahead of a field that contained Sweden’s Jonas Jacobsson and Slovakia’s Veronika Vadovicova – both gold medallists already in Suhl.

The 37-year-old did have a slight worry however when, with just two shots to go, Skelhon cut his advantage and drew level.

But the Brit could not maintain the momentum and fired a 10.0 with his penultimate effort to all but hand the gold to Park, who landed a 10.7.

With his final effort, Park held his nerve with a 10.4 to score 211.9 and equal the finals world record.

“At the beginning, I felt very anxious, but as time went by, when my shots were good I felt more comfortable, which allowed me to win the gold medal,” said Park.

“Before starting the final, the head coach told me to remember what I did in practice and do the basics right.”

In what looked to be a tactical move, the South Korean waited until everybody else had fired before taking his shot. Park claimed however it was the conditions, rather than then a ploy to gain an advantage over his rivals.

“Originally, I felt very hot, so it was very hard to control, the humidity was high, so it was hard to concentrate, so that is why I took my time,” he said.

“I didn’t feel any pressure on myself, I just wanted to participate and do well.

For silver medallist Skelhon in 211.3 it marks an improvement from the 2010 World Championships, and matches his finish in this event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The United Arab Emirates ’ Abdulla Sultan Alaryani (189.1) claimed bronze, whilst South Korea claimed another world title for their combined qualification score of 1892.7.

In the evening’s R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2), final, there was more South Korean success, as Youngjun Jeon beat his compatriot Juyoung Kang to the gold medal.

Paralympic gold medallist Kang led going into the latter stages, but remarkable shooting from Jeon, which included three 10.7’s to finish, was enough to secure a first world title and set a new finals world record of 210.7.

“It is the first time I have won a gold medal, so this is the best day,” said Jeon

“With the last shot, I felt very anxious and it was difficult for me as I was against somebody else from the Korean team. It was very good competition for me.

This result is a dramatic improvement for Jeon, whose previous best place finish was sixth at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The 48-year-old was quick to dedicate the victory to those closest to him.

He said: “My family is the most important thing to me. 10 days ago, my father passed away, so I have had a very difficult time in the preparation and during this competition. I am going to do my best, and when I get back to Korea I will feel very happy”

“The next competition for me is the Incheon 2014 Para Asian Games, so I am just going to take things step-by-step and do my best.”

Elsewhere, there was an incredible battle for bronze, as France’s Tanguy De La Forest saved himself from elimination with a 10.7, to claim third place by just one-tenth.

Meanwhile, the strong performance of the South Korean’s helped their team to another qualification gold and a new world record of 1894.7.

More information, including live results are available at the event website