Tokyo – Shooter Franček Gorazd Tiršek won the silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics in the men’s 10m air rifle standing competition on Monday in what is the first medal for Slovenia at the games.
Tiršek was fourth in the qualifying, and was also excellent in the finals, staying in the medal range all the time and securing at least a silver medal in the last rounds.
Eventually, Philip Jonsson of Sweden prevailed with a new Paralympic Games record of 252.8 points to win the gold medal, while bronze went to Andrea Liverani of Italy.
For Tiršek, who was only 0.4 points behind the winner, this is the third medal at the Summer Paralympics, as he also won silver medals in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 in the same discipline.
“I had known myself that I was excellently prepared. I focused on the Tokyo games, I believed in myself, and I proved this today. If I had another shot, maybe the medal would have been even shinier. But this is sport,” he told the press.
Tiršek had found himself in a tough position in the qualifiers, and his excellent effort in the last series earned him a spot in the finals, which he thinks had not started very well, either.
“I knew exactly what I was doing and why I was looking for, and eventually I found the silver medal. I knew that an excellent shot must come eventually.”
The medal won by Tiršek is the 50th medal for Slovenian Paralympians, counting appearances both for independent Slovenia and for the former Yugoslavia.