Beijing ’08 winner Drahoninsky takes down elusive first world crown

David Drahoninsky of the Czech Republic won his first individual world championship title, to add to his world silver and bronze – and 2008 Paralympic title – in the W1 men’s category in Donaueschingen.

Drahoninsky beat John Walker of Great Britain, 143-136, in the gold medal match.

The Czech athlete won bronze at Bangkok 2013 and silver at Turin 2011. In Donaueschingen, he added the elusive gold medal to his ever-growing accolade collection, which also includes the ranking round and matchplay world records.  

The world record for the 15-arrow match was set during the Germany event. He scored 144 wile defeating Finland’s Jean Pierre Antonios in the quarterfinals.

“I’m so happy to have finally won a world championship,” he said. “Before this competition I felt very confident and I couldn’t tell you why.”

“It’s just a shame I could not set another world record.”

Drahoninsky shot eight 10s in 15 arrows, and put all 15 into the gold – coming in just one short of his own world-record mark.

The 2012 Paralympic silver medallist has admitted to finding motivation hard to come by at some events, but put his full attention into preparation for the world championships.

“I have the world record and I have finished on the podium in nearly every competition this year,” he explained.

“Sometimes it is hard to motivate yourself, but I trained a lot for this competition with the aim of winning the gold medal, and I have done just that.”

Drahoninsky was the top seed after qualifying with a score of 672 and favourite to take home the gold medal. The 33 year-old had no intentions to take a podium-topping finish for granted.

“I was really nervous but I have my usual routine. It is important to stick to it and clear you mind to shoot well.” 

Drahoninsky’s father was at the event as his coach. David revealed, with a smile, he told him to be quiet on a number of occasions.

“My father was pretending to be my coach! His only job was supposed to be telling me what numbers I was hitting. On occasions I had to tell him to shut up,” he joked!

“It was great for him to be here and give me his full support. It has definitely helped me this week.”

Italy’s Fabio Azzolini beat Brit John Cavanagh to W1 men’s bronze.