Preview: Pilsen to award first Paralympic quota places for Paris

Dubain 2022 World Archery Para Championships.

Nearly 300 athletes from 55 countries will compete at the 2023 Word Archery Para Championships next week in Pilsen, Czech Republic, where the first quota places for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will be awarded.

It’s only been one year since the last para worlds, the most recent championships in Dubai having been delayed one year to early 2022 due to the pandemic.

Seventeen world titles will be awarded in individual, doubles and mixed team events across the three Paralympic categories in Pilsen – recurve, compound and W1 (for the most impaired athletes) – as well as in both internationally recognised visually impaired classifications.

All eight world number ones are on the entry list, as well as five reigning individual champions.

Other recognisable names on the line include five of the six reigning Paralympic Champions from Tokyo 2020: Kevin Mather, Phoebe Paterson Pine, He Zihao, David Drahoninsky and Chen Minyi.

Seventy-eight (of the 140 total) quota places for the next Paralympics will be won in Pilsen.

Key information

What’s happening? The 14th edition of the World Archery Para Championships on 17-23 July 2023 in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

What’s at stake? Seventeen world titles and 78 quota places for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Who’s competing? A total of 295 para archers from 55 countries across the six Paralympic categories: recurve men and women, compound men and women, and W1 men and women; as well as visually impaired 1 and visually impaired 2/3.

What’s the story? One year on from the last (delayed) para championships in Dubai, how much has changed? More than half of the tickets to the next Paralympics will be won on the field in Pilsen. An important start to the run-up to Paris for athletes, coaches and national teams.

Reigning W1 women’s Paralympic Champion Chen Minyi at Tokyo 2020

Event schedule

  • Tuesday 18 July: Qualification
  • Wednesday 19 July: Qualification and mixed team eliminations
  • Thursday 20 July: Eliminations 
  • Friday 21 July: Doubles eliminations, Paralympic qualification secondary tournament, and visually impaired qualification and eliminations
  • Saturday 22 July: Visually impaired finals* (morning) and compound finals (afternoon)
  • Sunday 23 July: W1 finals (morning) and recurve finals (afternoon)

*Footage published delayed and not available live.

How to watch

Coverage of the World Archery Para Championships will be available via local broadcasters in selected countries, with the Olympic Channel and World Archery streaming all three medal sessions in all other territories.

  • Live: Compound finals – 22 July at 12h00 UTC
  • Live: W1 finals – 23 July at 8h00 UTC
  • Live: Recurve finals – 23 July at 12h00 UTC

Live scores will be available on the World Archery website, and there will be coverage on World Archery’s digital platforms throughout the competition.


1) Stutzman’s spotlight. The notorious Armless Archer finally picked up that major title he’s been coveting for a decade when he won the 2022 World Archery Para Championships in Dubai last February – and at the first edition of the pinnacle event to feature two other athletes shooting a bow without arms, who had been inspired to take up the sport by Stutzman himself. At 40 years old, the Iowa native is entering Paralympic campaign number four… and there’s only one target.

2) Petrilli’s podiums. Silver medallist at her second international competition, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Vincenza Petrilli followed up that phenomenal arrival with a triple-gold performance in Dubai. The 32-year-old was off the boil at the subsequent European Championships but with three-time Paralympic Champion Zahra Nemati absent from the Iranian line-up, this Italian world number one arrives in Pilsen the favourite.

3) Paris’ Paralympics. The qualification procedure for the Paralympic Games differs than the process for the Olympics – but the core principle remains the same, athletes win tickets for their countries in competition. Pilsen is the most important of the qualifying events, with 78 of the 140 total spots at Paris 2024 on offer. Twenty-four (eight per category, four per gender) will be awarded to the semifinalist mixed teams, before a further 54 are distributed through the individual results of the championships themselves and a secondary tournament held on Friday morning.

Competition categories

Four competition classifications will participate in the upcoming world championships.

The recurve and compound categories mirror those in able-bodied competition and, aside from an extension to the time allowed to shoot an arrow (20 to 30 seconds in arena matchplay), the competition format and equipment rules are exactly the same.

The W1 category is for the most impaired athletes, whose impairments affect at least three limbs and the torso. W1 athletes can use either a recurve or compound bow with weight and accessory limitations. The competition format is the same as for the compound category.

Recurve, compound and W1 archers are often classified to use a variety of assistive devices, ranging from wheelchairs and stools to mouth tabs and specialised release aids. Which devices are permitted is dependent on each archer’s individual impairment.

Visually impaired archers are grouped into two categories. The visually impaired 1 category is for athletes with very little to no vision, while archers competing in the visually impaired 2/3 category wear blindfolds to ensure a level playing field.

Reigning visually impaired 2/3 World Champion Steve Prowse shooting at ’s-Hertogenbosch 2019.

The champions

These are the reigning para world champions from Dubai 2022:

*Para world champion from ’s-Hertogenbosch 2019 as the visually impaired categories in Dubai were combined.

These are the reigning Paralympic Champions from Tokyo 2020:

Reigning recurve women open’s Paralympic Champion Vincenza Petrilli shooting at Tokyo 2020.

Who’s competing?

These are the archers currently highest in the para world rankings arriving in Pilsen:

A total of 295 archers from the national teams of the following 55 countries are registered for these championships: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong China, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Türkiye, Ukraine, United States of America and Uzbekistan.

Competition in Pilsen starts with qualifying on Tuesday.