Over 150 Wheelchair Fencers from 13 states compete at the 8th Indian National Championships
The 8th edition of the championship held in Karnal, Haryana attracted the highest number of fencers to date indicating Wheelchair Fencing development is on the increase in India.
The 8th National Wheelchair Fencing Championships 2015 were held in Karnal, Haryana from 28 – 30 January by Haryana State Wheelchair Fencing Association, an organisation affiliated to the Wheelchair Fencing Federation of India.
The competition witnessed the highest number of fencers to date with more than 150 fencers representing 13 states in both Men’s & Women’s Senior category.
Mr. Satyavir Singh – Secretary of Harayana State Wheelchair Fencing Association said "As Haryana is one of the states to motivate sports for the last few years, we decided to host the 8th edition to increase awareness of Wheelchair Fencing in Haryana. Thanks to all our sponsors & Tapan Rehabilitation Society for helping us conduct this event so successfully. After this event we have received many enquries from people wishing to join the sport. We would also like to thank the national federation for their guidance and support."
Mr. Shankar Iyer, Secretary of the Wheelchair Fencing Federation of India said "Wheelchair Fencing is growing each year. New states like West Bengal joined us this year. Many fencers now have there own equipment and able bodied fencing coaches are taking interest to teach wheelchair fencing in their clubs. Last year the Indian team participated in 3 international events – 7 fencers in the Canada World Cup, 3 fencers in the World Championships in Hungary & 2 fencers in the World Championships in Sharjah.
We have three bright international players – Mr. Vibhas Sen from Maharashtra who is internationally ranked 52nd in Men’s Sabre, Mr. Ramesh Rao from Orissa, who is internationally ranked 70th in Men’s Epee and Mr. Ventatesha Babu from Karnataka who is internationally ranked 79th in Men’s Foil."
The surprise from this year National Championships was a 14 year old fencer Master Praveen from Haryana who made the final of Sabre individual. His coach Mr. Satyavir Singh said "He has a tremendous potential, he is one of the youngest wheelchair fencers in India. We’re planning to send him to the IWAS Under 17 World Championships in October this year."
International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) has also applauded Haryana State Wheelchair Fencing Association for conducting this type of event to increase awareness and promote the growth of Wheelchair Fencing in India.
With this successful event the Indian team is now ready to compete in the IWAS Asian Wheelchair Fencing Championships on 6-11 April 2016 in Hong Kong.
The 9th National Wheelchair Fencing Championship are propsed to take place in May 2016 in Mathura, a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Article & Photos: Vibhas Sen