Fourteen years since winning his first world title, four-time Paralympic medalist Jeff Fabry can still claim to be the one of the best in the world.
Fabry won his fourth career world title at the 2017 World Archery Para Championships on Saturday, taking gold in the W1 recurve open men’s competition in Beijing. Team USA also took the silver medal in the men’s recurve open team division.
Fabry, a gold medalist at the Paralympic Games London 2012, received an arrow upgrade in the final end of his 15-arrow gold medal match against Turkey’s Omer Asik to win 132-131.
“I won my first gold medal at the worlds 14 years ago,” Fabry said. “To be back here again after all this time has passed, it’s amazing.”
Fabry, a four-time Paralympian beginning with the Athens Games in 2004 where he won two bronze medals, added another bronze medal at the Beijing Games in 2008. The 44-year-old has battled through injuries, but has been a positive mentor to U.S. Para archers since winning his first recurve world title in 2003.
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“To see where I’ve come from then to here, is amazing,” Fabry said. “I am so proud to be still shooting competitively.”
In the men’s recurve open team division, U.S. Paralympian Michael Lukow, rookie Kevin Mather and Timothy Palumbo, both making their international debut, advanced to the gold-medal round, but fell to Russia, 6-2, in the final.
“It was an incredible feeling being out there on the world championships field,” said Mather, a former triathlete and alpine skier. “We have a great team with the right coaches and chemistry, and we know the hard work and practice ahead of us if we want to win gold.”
The World Archery Para Championships continue through Sunday.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.