Italy take double gold at home European wheelchair fencing Championships
Team golds for the hosts highlighted the action in Terni on Saturday (22 September).
Hosts Italy topped the podium twice at the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing European Championships in Terni on Saturday (22 September), grabbing team golds in sabre and foil.
Victory for the women in the foil highlighted the penultimate day’s action as they beat Russia 45-32 in the final.
The win for Loredana Trigilia, Andrea Mogos and Beatrice Vio improved on their silver medal from the last European Championships in 2016.
Alena Evdokimova, Iuliia Maya, Evgeniya Sycheva and Irina Mishukova settled for second this time around.
Paralympic silver medallists and former title holders Hungary were third. Zsuzsanna Krajnyak, Eva Andrea Hajmasi and Boglarka Mezo were their team.
The Italian men triumphed in the team sabre, adding to the world title from last year also won on home turf in Rome.
With defending champions France knocked out by Greece in the preliminaries, Italy’s path saw them just beat Germany 42-45. They then faced Ukraine in the semi-finals in another close duel, emerging on top with only a four point gap.
Poland dispatched Greece to take on the hosts in the final, leaving them to take on Ukraine for bronze.
Poland put up a good fight but it was Italy who were able to edge in front, winning 45-37 thanks to the efforts of Edoardo Giordan, Gianmarco Paolucci, Marco Cima and Alberto Pellegrini.
Pellegrino said: "This medal is special because it is something that was missing in my palmarès. Thank to these guys I realised a dream. I have lots of dreams and this was one of those.
Cima was equally as delighted with the gold: I really enjoyed this competition because this team has been really solid. When someone was underperforming, someone else started to perform better. We were a real team, and this means that we grew, we are mature, we are ready to face any team, any rival. We are not afraid of anyone and we will defend any title we won until today."
Rafal Ziomek, Rafal Bogdan Treter, Adrian Castro and Grzegorz Pluta were the silver medallists for Poland.
Ukraine’s team of Andrei Demchuk, Anton Datsko, Artem Manko and Maksym Mahula completed the top three after overcoming Greece 45-38.
Ukrainian Serhey Shavkun won his second gold in as many days in the men’s foil category C.
Shavkun was back in action on the piste with renewed confidence having won gold in the epee on Friday (21 September).
Italy’s Martino Seravalli stood between Shavkun and his second title as the pair went head-to-head in the final.
But Seravalli could not stop his opponent’s charge. Shavkun registered a convincing 15-5 win for gold.
The rest of the podium was also occupied by Italians. Matteo Adesso and William Russo claimed bronze.
Germany’s Ulrike Lotz-Lange picked up her first epee European title in the women’s category C, winning her second medal in as many days.
The World Championships silver medallist overcame Russian world champion Ksenia Ovsyannikova in the semi-finals 15-12.
Lotz-Lange faced Italy’s Nora Conseulo in the final putting on an impressive display to bag an emphatic 15-9 victory for gold. It adds to the German’s bronze in the foil from Friday.
Ukraine’s Hanna Pashkova was third alongside Ovsyannikova.
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.