After four days of shooting Para sport competition in Hamar, Norway the European 10m Championships wrapped up on Friday (18 March) crowning a four-time Paralympic champion as the star of the event.
Slovakia’s Veronika Vadovicova will be returning home with impressive three new gold medals, the most by any athlete.
She had already won both the R2 - women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 and the R10 - 10m air rifle standing mixed team SH1 on the two first days in Hamar, but she was not done yet.
Vadovicova added another title to her collection by taking the gold medal in the R3 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1 on Thursday (17).
“I’m just happy. Everything worked really well,” celebrated Vadovicova. “The equipment, the position I was shooting. All of that helped with the results.”
The Slovakian entered the last shot with a 0.5 point difference over countryman Radoslav Malenovsky and scored a 10.6 to secure the title. Turkey’s Erhan Coskuner finished with the bronze medal.
Malenovsky, with whom Vadovicova won the R10 team title, had only good things to say about her partner and rival.
“I know that when I’m in the final with Veronika and I’m shooting close to her, there’s a big chance to get a medal. We know each other very well, for almost 17 years now. For me it’s great to have the best shooter in the world in the team”, said Malenovsky.
FIRST TIME FOR TXAKARTEGI
While some athletes are used to the podium, the European Championships also provided the thrill of the very first title for Ager Solabarrieta Txakartegi, from Spain.
He completely dominated the VI-P - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH-VI to earn his first-ever international gold medal.
With a final score of 242.0, the vision impaired shooter defeated Polish silver medallist Barbara Moskal (237.9), who was in search of her second European title in Hamar, and Daniel Waloe (216.4) who gave hosts Norway its first and only medal in the competition.
“I’m flipping, my heart is pounding, I can’t believe it,” Txakartegi said. “This is the result of very hard training. I have to thank our assistants, I’m nothing without them. I’m shaking right now, it’s my first gold medal. I hope to go to Al Ain for the World Championship.”
In the R5 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2, both gold and silver medals went to Great Britain. Ryan Cockbill scored 255.0 points to beat James Bevis in the final. Bevis finished with 254.4 points. Sweden’s Philip Jonsson earned bronze with a score of 232.2.
TURKISH DELIGHT ON FINAL DAY
The last day of the competition in Hamar had Turkey in the spotlight.
Turkish athletes qualified two teams to the final in the P6 - 10m air pistol mixed team SH1. Aysegul Pehlivanlar and Cevat Karagol defeated Murat Oguz and Aysel Ozgan by 16 x 8 to earn the title.
The bronze medal went to North Macedonia, represented by Olivera Nakovska-Bikova and Vancho Karanfilov. They beat Norway by 16 x 6.
Vadovicova’s victories helped Slovakia to finish on the top of the medals table with four golds and two silver medals. Poland had more podiums than any other team in Hamar (12) and ended in second in the standings with three golds, six silver and three bronze.
Serbia was third with three golds and one bronze. A total of 15 countries took at least one medal at the European Championships.
Complete results from Hamar 2022 are available here.
The next stop in the 2022 World Shooting Para Sport season will be the World Cup in Chateauroux, France from 4 to 13 June.