Chinese W1 men deliver three more para records on second day at worlds

The shooting line at the world para championships in Pilsen.

Zhang Tianxin topped W1 men’s qualification as China consolidated early dominance by adding three more team world records on the second day of competition at the 2023 World Archery Para Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

His score of 679 points was only one off the individual world record, too.

“I’m very excited about such a result,” said Tianxin. “I think I have the abilities and confidence to shoot in the finals.”

The 24-year-old wasn’t aware he was chasing David Drahoninsky’s world record – in the reigning Paralympic Champion’s home country, no less. And he was on pace for it until the very last shot, which was a seven.

“I didn't know that! What a pity that my last arrow was a seven,” he said. “If it was an eight or a nine…”

No individual world-best, but two team for Paralympic mixed team champion Zhang.

Together with teammate Han Guifei, who took the W1 men’s second seed with 672, they combined to beat the W1 men’s doubles world record by an impressive 41 points. Tianxin also added the mixed team record with Zhang Lu, who topped the qualification round on Tuesday.

One further record was broken on Wednesday morning in Pilsen – again by Chinese archers.

Although neither finished top of the individual leaderboard, fourth qualifier Gan Jun (634) and second seed Zhao Lixue (642) combined to set a new world best in the recurve men’s doubles event.

There was a three-way battle between Lixue, mouth-tab user Guillaume Toucoullet and Korea’s Kwak Geonhwi for individual pole.

The latter took the lead in the last series when his 56-point end leap-frogged Lixue to the top spot with a total of 644.

“I tried my best. But I approached it like other national competitions. I used my experience,” said Geonwhi, who was undoubtedly the most consistent recurve man on the field.

Korea’s recurves are dominant in able-bodied competition, but a Korean recurve archer hasn’t won individual gold at the World Archery Para Championships since Lee Hong Gu in 2007.

“I don't know what the future brings, but I will try to go as far as possible,” said Kwak.

Competition in Pilsen continues with mixed team elimination rounds on Wednesday afternoon, when the first quota places to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will be awarded.

Top seeds: Pilsen 2023

Full results are available on the event page.

  • Recurve men: Kwak Geonwhi, Korea – 644
  • W1 men: Zhang Tianxin, China – 679

Top qualifiers on Tuesday were as follows.

  • Recurve women: Elisabetta Mijno, Italy – 628
  • Compound men: Ai Xinliang, China – 709 (world record)
  • Compound women: Sarita, India – 697 (world record)
  • W1 women: Zhang Lu, China – 647

Visually impaired qualification is scheduled for Friday morning.

Team qualification records in Pilsen

  • Recurve men doubles: China – 1276 (+16)
  • Recurve women doubles: Italy – 1217 (+33)
  • Compound men doubles: China – 1411 (+21)
  • Compound women doubles: India – 1386 (+1)
  • W1 men doubles: China – 1351 (+43)
  • W1 women doubles: China – 1285 (new)
  • W1 mixed team: China – 1326 (+36)