2020 wheelchair fencing calendar begins in Eger
A wealth of the world’s best athletes are poised to start the Paralympic year at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Eger, Hungary, from Thursday (13 February).
Results and live broadcast coverage will be available at the new IWAS website throughout the event, which runs until 16 February.
The aim for many wheelchair fencers competing in Eger will be to gain points towards Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games qualification and test themselves against those they may meet on the piste in September.
Hosts Hungary will be looking towards women’s foil category A Paralympic bronze medallist, and current world No.1, Zsuzsanna Krajnyak.
But Krajnyak will face a tough challenge from her European gold medallist teammate Eva Andrea Hajmasi.
“It is always a special feeling to fence in front of the national audience,” Hajmasi, who is also the world No.1 in the sabre, said. “Furthermore, the penultimate World Cup competition is approaching [in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in March], so a number of the international field will be in Hungary.”
In the women’s foil category B, Italian superstar Beatrice Vio will make her 2020 debut. Vio won her first Paralympic title in 2016 and in 2019 won her third consecutive world title.
Hungary also have medal potential in the men’s events.
Top seed Richard Osvath will be looking to continue his fight back after losing his men’s foil category A world title last year.
Since the Worlds in November the Paralympic silver medallist returned to the podium at the Amsterdam World Cup with a second place finish.
The 2020 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup kick-starts a busy year in the sport.
After Eger, Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the next World Cup location from 11-14 March. That will be immediately followed by the 2020 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships, also in Sao Paulo.
Wheelchair fencers from Asia will then head to Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, for the Asian Championships from 2-9 April as part of the IWAS World Games. The under 17 and under 23 World Championships will also feature.
May will see the European Championships take place in Hatfield, Great Britain.
A final World Cup, which falls outside of the qualification period for Tokyo 2020, will be staged in Warsaw, Poland from 3-6 July.
The full wheelchair fencing calendar can be viewed here.