David Drahoninsky aims to qualify for fourth consecutive Paralympic Games
One month ago, while competing at the first leg of this year’s European para archery circuit in Olbia, Italy, he scored 680 out of a possible 720 points over the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round to set a new world record for the W1 men’s category.
It was a result of hard work over the winter.
“I went to Olbia with the idea that it was going to be good. During the first two days, it was very windy but for official qualification, the weather was very nice and not so hot”, he said. “I was very happy that my hard work with different people helped me bring some good results.”
David said German coach Jens Asbach suggested that he try a different arrow shaft, completely different to the one he’s been using so far in his career, and it worked.
“Last year, I took some seminars with great people. One of those was with Reo Wilde and his brother Logan in Germany. I worked with different coaches, too. So, the record is just the result of all of it,” he said.
David, a multiple world medallist, won the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and finished runner-up at both London 2012 and Rio 2016. The first places for the next Paralympics in Tokyo will be awarded later this week in the Netherlands.
“I want to go to Tokyo and I have confidence. Let’s hope it works good and then next year I get to prepare for my fourth Games in a row. Right now, is about giving my best and doing what I can,” he said.
“I know who I am, the other archers know my name, but when I’m on the shooting line, I’m just shooting against me. It’s my personal competition.”
A full-time para athlete, David runs the DD Para Archery Project in Prague, which helps other para and able-bodied archers to improve. The 2015 world para champion said the key is to balance physical, mental and technical skill.
“I do special fitness, I work on my mental training and every day I’m thinking about what else can I do to make myself a better archer,” he added.
Competition for W1 archers in ’s-Hertogenbosch begins with qualification on Monday morning.
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.