All the top Para archers are pointing their arrows toward June’s World Championships in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Not only will world titles be at stake, but also up for grabs are the first places at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Held from 3-9 June, the World Archery Para Championships will feature eight individual events plus team competitions.
Prior to the Worlds, archers are expected to tune up their bows at two major international competitions in Dubai, UAE, from 10-16 April; and Olbia, Italy; from 29 April to 5 May.
Iran’s Zahra Nemati, Slovakia’s Marcel Pavlik, Czech Republic’s David Drahoninsky and Great Britain’s Jo Firth are among the archers who are entering 2019 with momentum. They all closed last year on top of the world rankings.
The women’s recurve open will showcase one of the sport’s biggest rivalries. China’s Wu Chunyan upset multi-Paralympic and world champion Nemati at the 2018 Asian Para Games to win the gold medal, and the two are expected to cross paths again this year.
Pavlik’s victory in the second leg of the European Circuit in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, set him up for No. 1 in the men’s compound open. But he will need to watch for Italy’s No. 2 Alberto Simonelli, who also had a good 2018 season especially with gold at the Fazza World Ranking Tournament in Dubai, UAE.
Paralympic medallist and 2015 world champion Drahoninsky stayed active last season – winning two gold medals – to put himself in a strong position in the men’s W1 open.
While Frith leads the women’s equivalent, she is expected to face tough competition from compatriots Victoria Rumary and reigning Paralympic and world champion Jessica Stretton.
The battle for Tokyo 2020 continues after s’-Hertogenbosch 2019, with another leg of the European Cup Circuit in Nove Mesto in July.