Andrea Liverani ensured the Lima 2021 World Cup ended in great fashion on Friday (18 June). The Italian tied for the final world record in the R5 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2 to bag the gold medal in Peru.
Liverani scored 255.8 points, tying with Serbia’s Dragan Ristic’s mark set in 2018.
After 10 shots, Liverani already had a comfortable lead over Vasyl Kovalchuk, R5 Paralympic gold medallist at London 2012 and Rio 2016. The Ukrainian ended with the silver medal in Lima with 254.1 points. French Kevin Liot completed the podium by scoring 231.4.
In the other event of the last day at the Las Palmas Air Base Shooting Range, Iryna Shchetnik won yet another gold medal for Ukraine, this time in the R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1.
The 21-year-old finished with 248.0 points, leaving Kevin Nguyen (USA) with the silver medal (245.6) and Jean-Louis Michaud (France) with the bronze (224.9).
It was the third individual medal for Shchetnik in Lima, the second golden one. She had already topped the podium in the R8 - women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1 and a silver in the R3 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1.
“I feel thankful and share this result with everyone. In Tokyo, the competition will be even harder, so I plan to keep on shooting to be even more prepared,” said the young Ukrainian.
Qualification world record
On Thursday (17), Russia’s Sergey Malyshev also managed a historical result in Peru. He set a new qualification world record in the P4 - mixed 50m pistol SH1 by scoring 555 points. The previous best mark was 554 points and belonged to Iranian Samira Eram from 2018.
Confident after setting the world record, Malyshev went on to win a dramatic final. USA’s Xiao Gong led almost all the way and had a 4.7-point advantage over the Russian after 14 shots.
But Malyshev climbed back and cut the lead to just 0.2 after 22 shots. With the gold medal on the line, Gong failed to shoot in time on the 23rd shot and the Russian took the lead and the gold medal with a final score of 221.8. Gong won silver with 214.3 and German Tobias Meyer was third with 200.6.
“The shooting range was very good and the weather helped. I was focused on my shooting and it was a great success to break the world record,” celebrated Malyshev.
In the R3 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH1, French Jean-Louis Michaud beat Iryna Shchetnik for the gold medal by scoring 253.5. The Ukrainian finished with 252.4. The bronze medal went to Yuliya Chernoy, from Israel, with 231.4 points.
Quota places for Tokyo
Through six days of competition in Lima, the World Cup had a total of 18 quota places allocated to 10 different countries. India led the way with four quotas for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, followed by France with three; Germany, Turkey, and the USA with two; and South Korea, Italy, UAE, Thailand, and Great Britain with one.
On Friday, four athletes managed to qualify their countries for the Paralympic Games. Germany’s Moritz Moebius, USA’s Jazmin Almlie and Thailand’s Anuson Chaichamnan in the R5 - mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2, and Kevin Nguyen in the R6 - mixed 50m rifle prone SH1.
Ukrainian athletes took 13 out of the 67 medals up for grabs topping the Lima 2021 medals table. Seven of those were gold and the other six silver. South Korea finished second with three gold and three silver medals, while Russia was third with three golds, one silver and three bronze medals.
A total of six countries earned gold medals in Lima. Italy had three, India and France two, with USA, Thailand and Turkey taking one each. Overall, 14 countries put their names in the medal standings with at least one podium.
Lima 2021 was the last World Cup of the season before the Paralympic Games in August. The competition was organised by the National Paralympic Committee of Peru (ANPPeru) and saw 157 athletes from 44 countries in action during six days.