Veteran Paralympic athlete, Libby Kosmala (Klemzig, SA) has pulled off an astounding silver-medal performance at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup in Great Britain, yesterday.
Still showing her expert prowess in the sport, the 11-time-Paralympian shot a world-class score of 411.8 during the qualification round, and cemented her strong position in the Air Rifle Standing final match, ahead of Slovakia’s World Champion, European Champion and Paralympic Champion Veronica Vadoviceva.
During the tough final, Kosmala maintained her dominance for the first half, after which she suffered a spasm, costing her the lead, to finish on a total of 200.7. Vadoviceva then gradually built on her advantage, and went on to win the title by 5 points. The bronze medal went to British woman Lorraine Lambert.
This is a bitter-sweet success for the Australian team, which is mourning the loss of fellow team-mate Ashley Adams (Blackall, QLD), who was tragically killed in a quad-bike accident on his farm, earlier this month.
The remarkable 72-year-old grandmother said she was very happy winning the silver medal and hoped there would be more to come in 2015 and 2016.
“I am well prepared and I was looking forward to shoot to the best of my ability today. The most important goal for this year is to win the quota for Rio 2016. Coming to this competition, I was more confident than before, and the silver medal in Falling Targets helped me to go into the competition more relaxed.”
“Ashley is watching over us, and certainly, when the spasm occurred, I thought of Ash as he had to deal with spasms very often during competition,” Kosmala said after the medal ceremony.
National Coach Miro Sipek said it was a good start to the season.
“I strongly believe that Ashley’s spirit will inspire our athletes to perform at their very best and win more medals for Australia. We will dedicate our medals to Ash’s memory, with the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in our sights,” Sipek said.
Shooting Australia CEO Damien Marangon praised Kosmala’s strong performance.
“Libby is a terrific athlete and an inspiration to us all. She has had a long, successful athletic career and this win shows that she is still up there with the world’s best.”
Marking the start of the 2014 international season, this IPC World Cup is a curtain raiser for the rest of the year, which will see three World Cups across July, September and November have quota places for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games on offer.
Competition continues in Stoke Mandeville until Wednesday 1 April. Full results are available here: http://www.paralympic.org/shooting
By Shooting Australia