10 athletes to watch at Donaueschingen 2015
With competition at the world para champs fast approaching, we’ve picked out 10 of the top para archery athletes that are worth watching as the tournament progresses. In no particular order…
1. John Stubbs – compound men’s open
“Stubbsy” was Paralympic Champion at Beijing 2008 and arrives in Donaueschingen as the reigning compound men’s open world champion. He started winning medals as an international para athlete back in 2003, and has plenty of pedigree as a world-level medallist.
2. Milena Olszewska – recurve women’s open
Silver medallist at the European Para Archery Championships in Nottwil in 2014, Milena might be Poland’s best shot at a gold – and the nation has had a winner in the recurve competitions at para worlds, before.
3. Jean Pierre Antonios – men’s W1
Jean Pierre, the compound W1 winner in Bangkok, will shoot against an adjusted and expanded W1 category in Donaueschingen after the rule changes that came into effect in 2014. That year, he won the European champs in Nottwil.
4. Zahra Nemati – recurve women’s open
The storied career of Iran’s first gold medallist at an Paralympic Games is at its midpoint – and Nemati’s fame only increased when she won the Asian Para Games in Incheon in 2014. World champion in a now-retired category at Bangkok 2013, a second world title in Donaueschingen would cement her legacy.
5. Asia’s Recurve/w1 Athletes
Incheon 2014, the Asian Para Games, was a tantalising glimpse into Asia’s para roster ahead of the worlds. Historically, it’s been predominantly China and Iran that medal from the continent. Korea hasn’t had an individual world para champion since ’07.
6. Dave Phillips – Men’s W1
BBC Sport, the UK’s national news agency, did a story on Dave heading into the worlds. After 30 years out of the sport, Dave – who has MS – used archery to get him “back on his feet”. He’s got his sights much higher, now, though.
7. David Drahoninsky – men’s W1
Beijing Paralympic Champion David was bronze medallist at Bangkok 2013 and gold medallist two years before, in Turin. He added silver at London 2012 and has one of the largest para medal hauls around.
8. Claudio Peruffo – VI2/3
Italy’s only visually impaired athlete at the event in which the competition category was revived. It previously featured from ’05-’09, and Italian athletes won two out of the three single-division championships.
9. Matt Stutzman – compound men’s open
The famous inspirational and armless archer had a silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. At the next major multisport event, Toronto 2015 – and the Para Pan Ams right before the ’15 worlds – he made the final again, which he lost to…
10. Andre Shelby – compound men’s open
…USA teammate Andre Shelby. Toronto 2015 Para Pan American Games Champion in his first event outside of the States, although he’d garnered quite a bit of domestic attention prior to the win, with strong showings at the Arizona Cup and other majors.
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