A special Indian showing in Osijek

Paraympic star Lekhara leads the way for Indian team that ended with 18 medals, even as Vadovicova and Txakartegi shone in the World Cup 14 Jul 2023
Team India swept the podium in P1 - men's 10m air pistol SH1 with promising Rudransh Khandelwal (240.6) taking the gold and a junior world record in Osijek.
Team India swept the podium in P1 - men's 10m air pistol SH1 with promising Rudransh Khandelwal (240.6) taking the gold and a junior world record in Osijek.
ⒸShooting Para Sport
By Ryan Hills I For World Shooting Para Sport

A World Cup that started with Indian dominance ended in the same way, as Osijek 2023 came to an end after six scintillating days of action.

From standout performances from Avani Lekhara to VI masterclasses from the likes of Agar Solabarrieta Txakartegi, join us for the full recap of another intriguing Shooting Para Sport meet. 

Familiar names deliver

The Shooting Para Sport circuit is packed with stars old and new, and going into Osijek the rollcall was names who have done it across the sport. And so, it came to prove that it would be a familiar tale across many podiums, as the top names truly delivered.

Let’s begin with Spain’s Agar Solabarrieta Txakartegi. One of the most eye-catching personalities in the game thanks to his positivity and snake-eye glasses, Osijek belonged to him this week. In the VIS Mixed 10m, he would record a silver medal finish behind Martin Adamek but he was clearly saving his best until last. Because on the penultimate day of competition, he soared to victory in the VI Mixed 10m with a total of 246.1, finishing ahead of Fran Skracic and Stefan Kopcik.

Elsewhere, there were some hugely impressive victories from the likes of Veronika Vadovicova. The three-time Paralympic gold medallist is always a favourite to reach the podium and the story was no different here. She achieved an R8 success and added a silver in the R6 and 10m Air Rifle SH1. 

Strong Indian showing

Can a first day go better than the one India had at the World Cup? Avani Lekhara, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion in the 10m Air Rifle SH1 was a woman on a mission. Last year’s World Championships in Al Ain didn’t go according to plan, but her opening performance here certainly did. 

She saw off the great Veronika Vadovicova 248.3 to 245.9 in the final for glory, and her compatriot Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar would add more success.

Unhalkar edged Csaba Rescsik into second place in the Men’s R1 10m to make it a golden day for his nation, Radoslav Malenovsky completing the podium. 

The final day was as perfect as the first as well. The Men’s P1 brought an all-Indian top three, in one of the performances of the entire tournament. Rudransh Khandelwal was closely followed by Manish Narwal and S.V. Gadhe. And in the P2 Women’s 10m, Rubina Francis added a silver medal to the tally as she finished narrowly behind Krisztina Davis.

For the full results, visit here

To the Worlds!

Held from 19-29 September, the Shooting Para Sport World Championships head to Lima, Peru for what is destined to be thrilling few days in the sunshine. It’s the next step on the international calendar and personally, we cannot wait. 

Following that there are three huge events to close out the year. With the Asian Para Games and the Parapan American Games, the best of those continents will be determined before an end-of-year return to Al Ain for the final World Cup of the year. 

And as if that’s not enough, by the time that ends…we are into a Paralympic Games year.