Paralympic Champion’s perfect finish secures 2nd title
Iranian recurve archer Zahra Nemati united the Paralympic and world titles with victory at the 2017 World Archery Para Championships in Beijing, beating Merve Nur Eroglu of Turkey, 6-2, in the final and finishing with a perfect 10-10-10.
“This means that everything will be the way that I want,” Nemati said. “It proves that with hope and determination I can get whatever I wish.”
Nemati has made a name for herself as a successful archer and rolemodel for women’s empowerment through sport. She won the hearts of the local crowd in Rio in 2016, competing in both the Olympics and Paralympics, and won the Games for a second consecutive time.
She was winner of the Bangkok 2013 World Archery Para Championships, but did not compete at Donaueschingen 2015.
“I proved once more that what I want will happen,” Nemati said.
Shortly before her gold medal match, Nemati won bronze in the mixed team open with Pouiya Jalipour.
The individual gold medal match face-off with Turkey’s Merve Nur Eroglu was intense. Eroglu lost the match with a miss after running out of time in the third end, fighting back tears throughout the medal ceremony.
It wouldn’t have mattered if she had hit with that arrow, though, as Zahra finished with a perfect 30 for an emphatic victory.
“It was a very enjoyable match to be out there and competing,” Nemati said.
The men’s recurve open final saw China’s Zhao Lixue and Thailand’s Hanreuchai Netsiri go to an incredible single arrow shoot-off.
Both finalists put down 10s in the tiebreaker. Netsiri’s 10 was good, but Zhao’s 10 was just that little bit closer, and gave him the gold.
“It was crazy,” Zhao said. “I’ve been training very hard and am so happy to win gold. It is incredible.”
Zhao won gold in the mixed team event at Rio 2016. The match was a repeat of the Para-Asian Championships final of 2015, which Zhao also won.
The individual bronze medal matches were decided earlier in the week.
The 2017 World Archery Para Championships run 12-17 September in Beijing, China.