Castro, Mishurova win first European titles in Terni
Ukraine’s world champion Nataliia Morkvych also bagged her third consecutive European title in the women’s sabre category A.
Poland’s Adrian Castro and Russia’s Irina Mishurova won their first European titles at the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) Wheelchair fencing European Championships in Terni, Italy, on Thursday (20 September).
Castro had already secured the world title in 2015 and Paralympic bronze in 2016 in the men’s sabre category B but the Europeans win had eluded him.
That all changed in Terni after he overcame teammate Grzegorz Pluta 15-11 in the final.
France’s Maxime Valet and Greek Paralympic silver medallist Panagiotis Triantafyllou rounded off the top three.
In the women’s epee category B Russia’s Irina Mishurova showed grit and determination in her quarter-final match against defending champion and world title holder compatriot Viktoria Boykova.
Boykova put up a great fight but Mishurova was on a mission, securing a semi-final place with a 13-15 victory.
Mishurova then got past Ukraine’s Olena Fedota to face Belarus’ Alesia Makrytskaya in the final.
The 25-year-old Russian dispatched her opponent with a score of 15-6 to secure her first European gold.
Fedota and her teammate Tetiana Pozniak claimed the bronze.
Irina Mishurova is the new European champion
Ukraine’s world champion Nataliia Morkvych retained her European title in the women’s sabre category A.
Morkvych eased past Georgia’s Nino Tibiashvili 15-4 for gold. It was the Ukrainian’s third consecutive gold in the discipline after her titles from 2014 and 2016.
“I’m really happy. That is the third time I became European champion and it was very important for me to win it,” Morkvych said. “As everyone knows it is quite hard to make this result once again, so I am very happy with it.”
Morkvych’s teammate Yevheniia Breus and Hungary’s Amarilla Veres completed the top three.
In a re-match of the gold medal bout from 2016, Russia’s defending champion Maxim Shaburov once again faced Great Britain’s Piers Gilliver for the men’s epee category A title.
It was the third time in two years that the pair have gone head-to-head on the major international stage. In 2017 Shaburov overcame Gilliver for the world title.
The Russian emerged the victor once again, beating Paralympic silver medallist Gilliver 15-13 in a closely fought tie.
Russian fencers Mikhail Karpov and Artur Yusopov grabbed the remaining bronze medals.
The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing European Championships run until 23 September.
Terni 2018 is the second major regional Championships taking place this year. The recently concluded Americas Championships in Saskatoon, Canada, from 14-16 September, were the first.
Following the Europeans, the Asian Championships will take place as part of the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6-10 October.