CZ AT THE HANDGUN WORLD SHOOT 2017: MARIA GUSHCHINA TRIPLE WORLD CHAMPION!
Between 27th August and 3rd September 2017, the IPSC championship Handgun World Shoot XVIII took place in Châteauroux, France. This eagerly awaited contest of the best shooters in the world saw the participation of the CZ factory team as well. The most successful was Maria Gushchina who became the world champion with her CZ Shadow 2 pistol in the Lady Production division. A well-deserved commendation also goes to the Czech national team for their bronze medals in the populous Production division.
At the end of August and beginning of September, members of the Czech national team and the CZ Shooting Team spent several days at a beautiful shooting range in the French town of Châteauroux, where they were able to measure their skill and strengths against the best shooters in the world. This year, there were a total of 1,418 participants from 75 countries. What is more, the French sports minister, Laura Flessel, made an appearance to show support to France’s representative Eric Grauffel, which meant that in the host country, this Championships was perceived very favourably indeed.
This World Shoot was a culmination of three years of hard work and preparation. In cooperation with the French Shooting Federation, the organizers prepared 30 challenging situations for the shooters. The competition was very dynamic, at some stages the targets were placed at a distance of up to 50 metres with many of them being moving targets. The fact that virtually not one participant has managed to shoot without making any mistakes shows how tough this year’s championships was.
In this difficult test, the best shooter in the colours of CZ was a member of the CZ Shooting Team, the Russian Maria Gushchina. Her phenomenal performance in the Lady Production division with her CZ Shadow 2 pistol resulted in Maria becoming the World Champion for the third time. In the overall ranking of the entire division Maria finished sixth, which is a great result. Her Serbian teammate, Ljubiša Momčilovič finished fourth. Although Ljubiša’s performance was extremely good, missing just one target on the first stage, it was not enough for a medal. In comparison, the gold won by Stoeger was down to extremely fast shooting, in spite of missing a total of 5 targets.
Michal Štěpán deserves a special mention. Since the last world championships three years ago in Florida, his performance in the overall rating improved significantly and with his ninth place, he managed to get into the top ten for the first time. He also confirmed his form by winning the CZ Super Six final.
Another interesting fact is that the percentage difference in the results between the first and ninth place in the Production division was only 3.8%, which for a five-day event is a small margin. It clearly shows the challenge of the contest and the even level of the current world’s best competitors.
The bronze medal in the team’s score is further proof that Czech shooters continue to rank among the world’s elite in IPSC shooting.
Moreover, the Chateauroux event showed the dominant position of CZ weapons, especially in the Production division where seven out of the top 10 were our weapons! Pavel Torgashov from Russia won silver with his CZ Shadow 2 pistol, losing out on the gold to Stoeger by only half a point. In the whole competition it is just a very slight difference, which can mean missing the best rated target zone (alpha) or the difference of a few seconds at a stage. Also worth mentioning is the performance of a South African member of the CZ Shooting Team, Robert Hopper, who won a silver medal in the Super Senior category with a CZ Shadow 2. And in the Senior category, CZ veteran Angus Hobdell took home a bronze medal.
There was a sad moment during the championships when Martina Šerá was disqualified at stage 2 for failing to adopt a safe angle when reloading. With this mistake, the hope for a good score for the Czech women’s team was dashed.
A chapter in itself was the highly attractive CZ Super Six final bringing together the best shooters from the Open, Production and Standard divisions. It took place in Châteauroux on Sunday, 3rd September, after the main official event finished. The first places of Michal Štěpán and Maria Gushchina once again proved that these riveting “duels” really agree with the competitors using CZ pistols and wearing the colours of CZ.
Last but not least, we would like to also mention that during the World Championships, the election of the new president of IPSC took place. The new president is Vitaly Kryuchin from Russia. The next World Shoot will be held in 2020 in Pattaya, Thailand.
As the area sponsor and the CZ Super Six sponsor, CZ would like to thank the organizers for their excellent work and congratulate the winners, and likewise, wish their factory shooters as well as all other CZ weapon users a lot of success in other competitions. Česká zbrojovka and the whole CZ Shooting Team would also like to say congratulations to Eric Graffel for his eighth world championship title.
From the results:
PRODUCTION Division – Overall
1. Benjamin Stoeger (USA), 100%
2. Pavel Torgashov (RUS), 99,98%
3. Eduardo de Cobos (ESP), 99,02%
4. Ljubiša Momčilovič (SER), CZ Shooting Team, 98,92%
6. Maria Gushchina (RUS), CZ Shooting Team, 98,23%
7. Robin Šebo (CZE), CZ Shooting Team, 97,58%
9. Michal Štěpán (CZE), CZ Shooting Team, 96,20%
15. Andrej Hrnčiarik (SVK), CZ Shooting Team, 92,42%
STANDARD Division – Overall
1. Eric Grauffel (FRA), 100%
2. Robert Vogel (USA), 97,34%
3. Nils Konrad Jonasson (USA), 95,60%
13. Josef Rakušan (CZE), CZ Shooting Team, 87,81%
14. Zdenek Liehne (CZE), CZ Shooting Team, 87,71%
PRODUCTION Division – teams
CZ Super Six Finals
OPEN Division – Overall
OPEN Lady Division
PRODUCTION Division – Overall
PRODUCTION Lady Division
STANDARD Division – Overall
STANDARD Lady Division