Hekimoglu, Liu qualify top in W1 competitions at para world championships

Turkey’s Bahattin Hekimoglu and Liu Jing of China led the W1 men’s and women’s ranking rounds at the 2019 World Archery Para championships in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands – an event that will qualify 12 archers in the division to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“I’m very happy to be the top man here. I have fought and worked hard for it, and I’ve been after qualifying and finishing in high positions since the Europeans in Pilsen last year,” said Bahattin.

Bahattin finished 13 points ahead of closest competitor Zhang Tianxin of China, who had 657, while Zhang’s compatriot Li Ji finished with 655 for the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round.

Bahattin and Turkish teammates Naci Yenier and Yigit Caner Aydin combined to break the W1 men’s team world record with a score of 1969 points.

“We really want to go to Tokyo, and this is all part of the efforts we are doing. That road looks closer now that we are here and this is just the beginning for what we expect to do throughout the week,” added Bahattin.

China’s Liu Jing and Italian para archer Asia Pellizzari both finished on 629 points atop the W1 women’s leaderboard – but Liu had 20 Xs to Asia’s 15. Chen Minyi was third with 625 points.

“I’m very happy and feel super lucky because my training scores in China weren’t as high as what I shot today. I’m still surprised,” said Liu.

There is no W1 women’s team event taking place in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

China, Italy and Russia qualified as the top three squads in the W1 mixed team event. Four of the eight mixed teams at these championships will win quota places at the Paralympic Games.

The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June and World Archery Para Championships on 3-9 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.