World record breakers David Drahoninski of Czech Republic and Jessica Stretton of Great Britain will feature in a dream gold medal shootout in the WI Open Final of the Second Fazza International Para Archery Championship Dubai 2016 at the Dubai Club for the Disabled on Monday.
Since there were only seven archers in this category, the local organising committee combined both men and women after the Elimination round on Sunday morning to determine the finalists for the title clash.
Drahoninski and 15-year-old Jessica raised the bar at the Fazza International Para Archery Championship by setting new world marks during the Qualification round on Saturday.
Jessica broke the women’s W1 world record of 648 held by reigning world champion Joanna Frith of Great Britain by firing 72 arrows for a combined total of 649 points on Saturday morning.
Drahoninski fired rounds of 334 and 342 to set a new world record of 676 in the W1 Open Men’s category.
The title clash between the mixed pair of Jessica, a bronze medallist at the last World Championship in Germany, and 33-year-old Drahoninski, gold medallist at the Beijing Paralympic Games and the reigning world champion, is expected to produce a tantalising finale to the second edition of the Fazza International Para Archery Championship which has been recognized by World Archery as a ranking tournament.
“I’m happy to be the new world record holder. I came close twice to breaking the world record in the Para Archery competition in the Netherlands and Czech Republic last year,” said Drahoninski who has consistently fired personal bests of 674.
Drahoninski expects a close match against Jessica in the gold medal clash.
“I wanted to be in final. But in our category we were mixed with women. Jo Frith is very good. Jessica shot very high scores. It isn’t easy but it is about how mentally prepared you are. I want to enjoy the final. I hope lot of people will come to watch it,” said Drahoninski whose experience in the sport of archery dates back to the World Championships in Madrid, Spain in 2003.
“I’m thankful to the local organizing committee for looking after us. The accommodation was very good. The coach driver was very helpful. I hope I can come back to train in Dubai because it is minus zero at home. This year it is first time I can shoot outside because training has been mainly indoors in Czech Republic,” said Drahoninski who is confident of producing a medal winning performance in the Rio Paralympic Games.
Reigning W1 women's world champion Joanna Frith will face her Great Britain team mate John Walker in the bronze medal match.
Iraqi archers have shown their mettle with three qualifying for the finals.
They are Wurood Bassim Al Murshedi, Kadhim Jawad Al Musawi who upset Stephane Gilbert (France) and Zaman Hussein Al Saed. Shakir Abed Khalaf meets Kevin Evans (Canada) for the bronze medal.
In the elimination matches upto the semi-finals, archers shot three rounds of five arrows each within the space of two minutes to determine the winner while in the individual medal matches on Monday players shoot alternately within the space of 20 seconds.
Team Archery GB have brought the largest contingent of 14 athletes for the second edition of the Fazza International Para Archery Championship which has gained the recognition of World Archery and attracted a record number of 50 athletes from 15 countries.
The Fazza International Para Archery Championship is organized and supervised by the Dubai Club for the Disabled with the support of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) and in cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and the UAE Paralympic Committee.
The participating countries in the Second Fazza International Para Archery Championship are Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Great Britain, South Korea, Thailand and tournament hosts the UAE.
Semi Final results:
Nathan MacQueen (Great Britain) beat Shakir Abed Khalaf (Iraq) 139-137
Eric Pereira (France) beat Kevin Evans (Canada) 142-138
Karen Van Nest (Canada) beat Jodie Grinham (Great Britain) 137-127
Wurood Bassim Al Murshedi (Iraq) beat Somayeh Abbaspour (Iran) 138-136
Recurve Men Open
Kadhim Jawad Al Musawi (Iraq) beat Stephane Gilbert (France) 6-2
Gholamreza Rahimi (Iran) beat Rajesh (India) 7-1
Recurve Women Open
Wasana Khuthawisap (Thailand) beat Brigitte Duboc (France) 7-3
Zaman Hussein Al Saed (Iraq) beat Tania Nadarajah (Great Britain) 7-1
Top three positions after qualification round (after 72 arrows):
Recurve Open Men
1. Stephane Gilbert (France) 611
2. Phillip Bottomley (Netherlands) 610
3. Gholamreza Rahimi (Iran) 609
Recurve Open Women
1. Wasana Khuthawisap (Thailand) 588
2. Tania Nadarajah (Great Britain) 555
3. Zaman Hussein Al Saed (Iraq) 552
Compound Open Men
1. Shakir Abed Khalaf (Iraq) 681
2. Eric Pereira (France) 679
3. Kevin Evans (Canada) 675
Compound Open Women
1. Karen Van Nest (Canada) 658
2 Alekseeva Luliia (Russia) 653
3. Wurood Bassim Al Murshedi (Iraq) 646
W1 Open Men
1. David Drahoninsky (Czech Republic) 676
2. John Walker (Great Britain) 647
3. Jean –Pierre Antonios (Finland) 646
WI Open Women
1. Jessica Stretton (Great Britain) 649
2. Joanna Frith (Great Britain) 638
3. Victoria Jenkins (Great Britain) 636