A look back at the WSPS World Cup in India


The inaugural WSPS IPC World Cup for the paratrap discipline took place in New Delhi, India, from 10 to 12 March 2024. The Czech Republic was represented by Mirek Lidinsky and Milan Kolar in the PT2 (lower limb disability) category. "Mirek and I were a bit concerned about lower number of shooters, but in the end, almost the all of the world’s top competitors from seven countries were in our category," commented Milan Kolar, silver medalist from SP Al Ain 2023.

Before the competition, the Czech "shotgunners" had three days of training, where they thoroughly studied the shooting range. Fluctuating visibility, uncompact background and a bright morning sun caused a few problems for competitors. Our representatives were able to cope very well with these circumstances, because after close to the same results on the first day, they achieved some great numbers on the final day. Mirek shone extra bright with an impressive result of 49 targets hit out of 50. His total results of 112/125 from the main competition sent him to the shoot-off with Spaniard Oloriz Sanz Ignacio Javiero for second, or basically third qualifying place for the final. After the last round, Milan jumped six targets ahead of the other competitors and secured qualification for the finals. Filip Marinov from Slovakia dominated the main competition and equal the world record of 119/125.

You could say from that moment on, surprises started popping up all over the place. The final rounds were planned to be live streamed to the entire world via the IPC's YouTube platform. In the Czech Republic, many family members, friends, fans and supporters were undoubtedly sitting at their computers, waiting for the action to begin. To their surprise, only the International Paralympic Committee logo was on-screen for 50 minutes. Perhaps it was a good thing, as they would have witnessed a totally unexpected situation.

Before the start of the finals, all shooters were required to arrive at a pre-scheduled time, the so-called “Reporting Time”. "We arrived on time with Filip, Milan and Javier Ignacio in front of the packed stands. Well, may one minute late, at most", admitted Mirek Lidinsky. "Without any discussion, we all received two penalty targets, which is the first time this has happened to me in all of my years of shooting. It was extremely surprising, since we were in the finals of the World Cup", he added.

Entering the final fight with a two-target penalty, instead of a warning or a yellow card, was really an exemplary punishment. The Lima 2023 world champion, Italian favorite Cormons, and home field representative Sekhon, were thus two targets ahead. Everything is ready, gun checked, ammunition loaded, goggles on..... breath and off we go.

Filip Marinov's first shot in the final... a hit. Stop, the referee steps up and takes the hit as the first penalty target. Mirek....a hit. Stop, hit taken. And it's repeated one more time for the four “Outlaws”. After the first five targets, it's a horror show for the Czechs. Mirek hits one target out of five, Milan two....  Maybe now is the turning point. "We both had to switch into overdrive and concentrate at 200%, clear our heads and shoot like in training," laughed Mirek. After that, he didn't notice anything, except his breathing and heartbeat.

The announcement of the results came from somewhere far away and were incomprehensible. It worked..... He missed only 5 of the next 35 targets. A bronze medal. A fantastic achievement. Milan secured sixth place. The two last competitions of the World Cup, with two medals for the Czech Republic. "We have a bronze and silver, all that’s left is the gold", both happy shooters said modestly at the end. So, let's wish the whole team many accurate shots at the upcoming World Championships in Granada, Spain, where 8 Czech representatives will compete.