“I didn’t want to focus on winning the quota, I wanted to focus shooting well. Turns out I did both.”
Slovakia’s Veronica Vadovicova continued her winning streak at the IPC Shooting World Cup on Thursday (5 November), bagging her seventh gold medal of 2015 in Fort Benning, USA.
New Zealand, Slovakia and the USA also secured more quota places for their countries at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with their performances in R3 (mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1).
It was not all plain sailing in R3 for Vadovicova (211.9) however, as she had to come back against Russia’s Tatyana Ryabchenko (209.0).
The Russian had taken a slim .1 lead in the third elimination round, going on to increase it in the fourth. But Vadovicova began her comeback in the next round, before edging ahead with her penultimate shots and finishing the job in the final round.
Ryabchenko did not have an answer, dropping down to an 8.3 with her last attempt.
Ukraine’s Iurii Stoiev (188.6) completed the podium with bronze.
Slovakian Radoslav Malevnosky’s fifth place finish was enough to take a quota spot for Rio, whilst New Zealand secured their third ticket to Brazil courtesy of eighth-placed Gregory Reid.
The USA continued to reel in the quota places as Tammy Delano put in a personal best score of 627.7, which she dedicated to her father who passed away in July.
“Everyone kept telling me I got it and I was like ‘Shush!’ since I haven’t had the best of luck,” Delano told USA Shooting. “I wanted to make sure it was official. It’s a little redeeming since I was so close [the other day]. I’ve had a rough year. Last October I had neck surgery, in May I went home to be with my father since he was sick and in May, I started getting sick again.
“My father passed away in July so most of my training was done in August and September so that was the hardest I’ve trained and probably the most I’ve ever gotten out of training during that time. I just wish I really could tell my dad, that’s the only sad part right now. He had never been able to come to one of my matches because he was on dialysis. I found out at his funeral he was planning to come to this match and get dialysis here so that was on my mind…I didn’t want to focus on winning the quota, I wanted to focus shooting well. Turns out I did both.”
In the team R3, Vadovicova and Malevnosky’s performances won Slovakia team gold alongside their compatriot Jozef Siroky (1895.4).
The United Arab Emirates (1891.4) were second with Abdullah Saif Alaryani, Addullah Sultan Alaryani and Saif Alnuaimi.
The British trio of Matt Skelhon, Owen Burke and Mandy Pankhurst (1880.4) were third.
Two non-Paralympic events were also contested on Thursday.
In R9 (mixed 50 rifle prone SH2) Great Britain’s James Bevis (620.0) took a convincing victory over Austria’s Johann Windhofer (608.8).
Brazil’s Alexandre Galgani just missed out on silver with a 608.7 score.
Over on the pistol range, Roy Carter (350) took victory for Team USA in P5 (mixed 10 air pistol standard SH1).
There was an exciting three-way shoot off for the rest of the podium between Russia’s Natalia Dalekova, Sweden’s Joackim Norberg and Poland’s Szymon Sowinski.
After all three finished their series with a total of 345, Sowinski dropped out of contention with a shoot-off score of 39. That left Dalekova and Norberg, who matched each other twice until Dalekova outscored Norberg 42 to 41 to take silver.
In the team event, Russia (1010) took gold with the combined scores of Dalekova, Andrey Lebedinskiy and Anastasiia Panteleeva. Great Britain took silver with Carter, Issy Bailey and Stewart Nangle scoring 995.
The 2015 IPC Shooting World Cup runs until 7 November and features nearly 180 athletes from 48 countries.
Friday’s action continues on the pistol range with P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1), P1 (men’s 10m air pistol SH1) and in rifle with R7 (men’s 50m rifle three positions SH1).
Live results are available at IPC Shooting's website.
Photos are available at Flickr.
A list of athletes who have obtained quota places for their country for Rio 2016 can be found at IPC Shooting's website.