IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships to kick-start series of regional competitions
Around 30 athletes from six countries have made the journey to Saskatoon, Canada, to compete for titles between 14-16 September.
The 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships will kick-start a series of regional competitions in Saskatoon, Canada, from 14-16 September.
Around 30 athletes from six countries have made the journey to Saskatoon to compete for titles. The European Championships will then follow in Terni, Italy, from 17-23 September ahead of the Asian Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6-13 October.
Brazil’s men’s epee category B London 2012 Paralympic champion Jovane Guissone is on a mission to return to his best and capture another gold.
Guissone is also the defending Americas title holder in the foil. So far in 2018 Guissone has grabbed three World Cup bronzes in Montreal, Canada; Pisa, Italy, and Eger, Hungary in the event.
“I feel like our work has paid off, but I am still far from reaching my goals for this season,” Guissone said. “I definitely feel the obligation to win and to perform well.
“I am focused on my physical condition. I have dropped 12kg, so I expect to be faster this year. I also have new staff working with me. I try not to focus a lot on my opponents, for as my preparation, I have worked hard to be prepared.”
Guissone’s teammate Vanderson Chaves will also take to the piste in Saskatoon. The pair went head-to-head in the foil gold medal match at the last Americas Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before Guissone emerged the victor.
Argentina’s Hugo Alderete is another main contender as the bronze medallist from two years ago. Triple Paralympian Pierre Mainville will represent Canadian hopes in the event.
In the men’s sabre category A another hometown favourite, Ryan Rousell, will be hoping to convert some good performances in 2018 into regional success.
The 21-year-old won gold at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Montreal, Canada, in April. He also clinched bronze at the under 17 and under 23 World Championships in Warsaw, Poland, in July.
“There is always going to be pressure to compete at home, however I feel it will be much greater,” Rousell said. “At home they’ll be there watching me, so I will say the pressure of living up to their expectations will definitely be higher. I haven’t been spending my entire summer training so I have to work to get back into top shape before the event but I have no doubt that when it begins I will be more than ready for whatever challenges I have to overcome.”
The women’s foil category A has seen fencers from the Americas jostling for position so far this season.
Brazil’s Karina Maia is the defending champion in this event. Maia was also the top finisher from the region at the Montreal World Cup. The Brazilian registered a top 10 finish with ninth, beating Canada’s Ruth Sylvia Morell by one place.
At the last Americas Championships Morell herself left with silver.
The USA’s Shelby Jensen will be another athlete to watch. At the most recent World Cup, also in Warsaw, Jensen was the top ranked Americas athlete.
The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships run from 14-16 September.