Cima triumphs for Italy at home wheelchair fencing European Championships
Cima opened the host's gold medal account at the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing European Championships in Terni.
Italy’s Marco Cima opened the Italian gold medal account at the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing European Championships at home in Terni on Monday (18 September).
Cima sailed through his opening match against Poland’s Zbigniew Wyganowski in the men’s foil category B 15-6 but faced a tougher challenge in the semi-final.
Going up against British world champion Dimitri Coutya, Cima just pipped his opponent to advance by one point.
With French defending title holder Maxime Valet knocked out in the preliminary rounds, Poland’s Jacek Gaworski took on Russia’s Alberto Kamalov in his semi-final.
Gaworski then sealed the win 15-8 to face Cima.
A close duel ensued for gold, entertaining the crowded venue until the end. Cima just had the edge on Gaworski with a 15-13 victory.
"Yes, a lot of emotions!," Cima said. "I trained really hard this summer, I never stopped practicing, even when the conditions where difficult. In August it is really difficult to train properly, but I put holidays aside to chase this dream. The goal was to win this European Championship even if at the beginning of the season I had hard time getting results. But I always knew that I was prepared for this competition. This summer we went on a training camp where I won a medal in the Jesi Championship. I was very, very prepared and very excited, so much so that I was first in my pool and I beated some very strong fencers. I am satisfied, really satisfied."
Coutya and Kamalov took home bronze.
Russia enjoyed the top spot on the podium twice in other events on Monday.
Roman Fedyaev retained his title in the men’s foil category A. The Russian beat compatriot Nikita Nagaev 15-7 in the final. In the semi-final Fedyaev overcame Hungary’s world champion and Paralympic silver medallist Richard Osvath.
Italy celebrated another podium finish on the opening day courtesy of Matteo Betti in third. Osvath also made it into the top three.
Russia’s second gold came in the women’s epee category A.
Iuliia Maya eased through her opening three matches to take the title against Ukraine’s Yevheniia Breus in the final, 15-3.
Breus settled for silver, one better than the bronze she won at the last edition in 2016.
Russia’s Alena Evdokemova and Hungary’s Amarilla Veres completed the top three.
“I am so happy. I have waited about eight years,” Maya said. “I win at the World Cup but I have been in two finals in Europe and this year I won!”
Ukraine’s Olena Fedota only dropped nine points on her way to the final in the women’s sabre category B.
The Ukrainian got past Germany’s Sylvi Tauber (15-3) and teammate Nadiia Doloh (15-6) before facing Hungary’s Boglarka Mezo for gold.
Mezo impressed in her semi-final, just squeaking past Georgia’s world champion Irma Khetsuriani 15-13.
But it was Fedota who had the upper-hand against Mezo, winning 15-7 to take the regional crown.
Ukraine doubled-up on the podium as Doloh took bronze alongside Khetsuriani.
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.