Gold for Brazil, Nadasdy stuns at under 23s World Championships
The opening day of the 2022 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing Under 23s World Championships delivered drama and delight on Wednesday (19 October) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
All matches can be watched back at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing website, alongside live results. Pictures are available for editorial use here.
Kevin Damasceno got his hands on gold in the men’s sabre, securing gold for Brazil at his second youth Worlds.
The 18-year-old did not enter the sabre in 2018, focusing instead on the epee and foil. But on Wednesday Damasceno showed how he has grown into his fencing, casting aside German top seed Julius Haupt in a close and tense final.
The gap in the end was only two points, 15-13 to the Brazilian, sending the Brazilian Paralympic Training Centre into raptures.
Haupt settled for the silver and was joined on the podium by his teammate Felix Schrader with bronze. The hosts picked up another medal courtesy of Elias Oliveira, also taking bronze.
In the women’s sabre Hungarian newcomer Anna Nadasdy shocked the field, claiming gold on her international debut.
As an unknown quantity Nadasdy had the edge over most of the field, losing only one of her pool matches. Sailing through the table of eight and the semi-final, Nadasdy faced French favourite Clemence Delavoipiere in the final.
On paper Delavoipiere looked more likely to take the gold with several top 10 World Cup finishes under her belt from this season.
But 17-year-old Nadasdy took charge of the match right from the start. Delavoipiere landed her usual moments of brilliance but it was not enough to stop the Hungarian.
After a tense video review of the final point, the referee confirmed that the win was Nadasdy’s and she let out a scream of delight.
Nadasdy simply said she was “happy” with her performance at her first major competition, going on to reveal that her favoured weapon is in fact foil rather than sabre.
Delavoipiere, 22, will still be satisfied with her silver as she continues to make an impact on the global stage ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympics.
The USA’s Shelby Jensen – the Americas Championships silver medallist – took bronze and will get the chance to defend her regional medal from 22 October.
Nineteen-year-old Ana Elisa Paz completed the top three on a fantastic day for the Brazilians.
The 2022 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Under 23s World Championships continue on Thursday (20 October) with the men’s and women’s foil. The A and B categories in both genders are being combined at the competition.
The 2022 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships then get underway from 22-25 October, also in Sao Paulo.