Skeet Women Junior Day 2

Spotlight on Youth - Peskova: that golden, Peruvian birthday

ISSF World Championship Shotgun · Lima, PER

Double celebration: Jitka Peskova won Lima's first Junior event (a very close one), right on the day after her 18th birthday. "Now I want more!"

Hardly you could imagine such a birthday as the one just enjoyed by Jitka Peskova of Czech Republic. While in Peru, taking part in the ISSF World Championships started on September 16 (her third appearance in this competition), the young shooter managed to put the cherry on her 18th birthday's cake.

Or rather, a medal: to be precise, the gold one from the Women's Skeet event - this edition's first Junior dispute (whose Senior version was contested in the same day).


The Czech athlete - bronze at the 2011 European Championships in Belgrade - took the lead right from the beginning of the match, carrying out the first round highest score and establishing a completely (and temporary) Eastern European podium, together with her compatriot Radka Mancikova and Russia's Natalia Vinogradova.


Mancikova - 8th place at this year's European Championships in Suhl - couldn't eventually keep it up and left Peskova and Vinogradova in a tie for 1st place, thanks to their remarkable second shot. Two targets behind them, was the bronze medal race: Vizzi, Sykorova, Mancikova and Ostapets (the youngest competitor) all tied, and just one target ahead of Italy's Di Marziantonio and Bruce of Great Britain. Gregory of the USA and Germany's Messerschmidt spoiled their good 1st-round performances and plunged into the bottom of the standings, entering the (unwanted) last place business, coming then to deal with Russia's Golovko and USA's Houston - at his debut in an ISSF competition.


The Vinogradova-Mancikova duel was brutal, with the former securing the gold medal and the latter falling down to 6th place after a very disappointing final shot. The silver medallist actually arose from the 3rd place battle: it was USA's Dania Jo Vizzi, who accomplished an astounding final round - exactly as  Chiara Di Marziantonio of Italy, who secured the last available step of the podium overcoming all the previous 3rd-place pretenders. At the bottom, Nadine Messerschmidt: she brought on her decline and - overcome by Golovko - collapsed into last place.



Peskova, after the medal ceremony where she received the gold, unveiled her secret: "I'm very happy," she said. "I've just turned 18, that was actually yesterday. That makes me twice happy!"

Jitka, other than celebrations, also has a double life: as a shooter, of course, and as a student - at a Grammar School. "Sometimes it's very hard to do both," she explained. "I'd train three times a week." Anyway, that doesn't bring her away from some very ambitious projects. "As for this year, I'm done. But from 2014, my goal is to win again. Better and better results."


Peskova's 18th birthday was sweet, but her 19th might be even sweeter: next year - from 6 to 20 September 2014 - the 51st ISSF World Championship in All Events will be contested in Granada, Spain.
It's easy to imagine that Peskova has already thought about that. The chance for another golden birthday is there: and Jitka Peskova doesn't want to miss it.

Alessandro Ceschi


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