Double gold for China concludes wheelchair fencing
China secured golds in both the men’s and women’s team foil on the final day of wheelchair fencing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on Sunday (29 August).
Full results are available at The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing website.
Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medal winners China and World Championships bronze medallists Italy fought their way to the women’s gold medal match.
After winning another iconic victory in the individual foil category B on Saturday (28 August), Italy’s Beatrice Vio joined forces with Loredana Trigilia and Andreaa Mogos.
Meanwhile the new category A Paralympic champion Haiyan Gu fenced for gold with Jingjing Zhou and Jing Rong.
Gu secured the lead in the first round, only for it to be claimed by Vio moments later. But China’s strength in the foil showed and they were slowly able to build a lead, winning five of the clashes overall.
Italy did come very close to overhauling their opponents with Vio and Mogos also claiming wins, but China had the edge. The match finished 45-41 to China.
The Hungarian team stunned the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) in pool play to reach the knock-out stages and then advance to the bronze medal match.
The Hungarians seemed to be struggling with medical issues early in the day and Gyongyi Dani replaced Mezo to complete the pool play. Andrea Hajmasi put 18 points past Irina Mishurova to keep their medal hopes alive in what was the highest individual point score of the day.
It was a competitive start to the match for Hungary and Hong Kong. A low scoring start left Hong Kong trailing before two double-figure performances from Justine Ng and Chui Yee Yu took them to lead at 25-20.
Hungary reclaimed the lead in Zsuzsanna Krajnyak’s bout with Justine Ng 40-37 as she hunted down her twelfth Paralympic medal. Yu took seven touches to draw the bout at 44-44 before Hajmasi found the fifth she needed to win. Hungary leave Tokyo with a gold, silver and bronze medal overall.
Men’s foil team
The men’s team final gold medal also went to China in another day of success for the team.
Great Britain find themselves the new Paralympic silver medallists after 2016’s silver medalists, Poland, failed to get out of the pool group this morning.
China took the first bout of the match 5-2 before Great Britain led for the next three taking the score to 20-15. 10 points from Gang Sun against Dimitri Coutya saw China edge closer to the gold before Coutya redeemed seven points against Daoling Hu to reclaim the lead 35-34.
Persistent bouts from Hao Li and Sun gave Piers Gilliver too much to do in the final match as he completed a set of all colours from these Paralympics. China took their third team medal 45-38.
“It is a real testament to how far we progressed and what strong contenders we are,” Coutya said after the match. “I’ve always had huge respect for the China team, they’re incredibly quick and very hard working, and for us to come away with a result like this and being so close to them really shows that we’ve come such a long way and that we’re well within their reach.
“Honestly, I’m just so delighted and proud of this team and what we’ve managed to achieve today.”
Rio’s bronze medalists France matched their performance from five years ago and closely fought the RPC to claim the bronze, their first medal in the wheelchair fencing of this campaign.
RPC’s Nikita Nagaev took six points in the final bout against France’s Damien Tokatlian before Tokatlian found the fifth he needed to win the bronze medal for France 45-40.
France were relieved to find success in their final match after a difficult time in Tokyo. “There was a lot of pressure from the outside to do well here, and until today we haven’t done well – without medals,” Valet said.
“We had the feeling since the beginning of the week here that everything was against us. The video review, the schedules, the waiting time in the call room was very long, bad luck all throughout the competition like with my fourth place (in men’s sabre individual). We had super tough bouts in the quarterfinals and we lost lots of close bouts for nothing.
“So it’s really good to win the last competition here, although it would have been nice to win since day one. But to go home with a medal like this is really satisfying.”
The team foil concludes five days of thrilling action at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
China finish top of the wheelchair fencing medals table with 20 medals overall including 11 gold, four silver and five bronze. The RPC are second with two golds, two silvers and three bronze and Great Britain were third with a gold and silver and three bronze.