Poland and Russia top the medals table at Wheelchair Fencing World Cup, Warsaw
Poland’s Dariusz Pender, Russia’s Nikolay Lukyanov and Alexandr Logtenko starred at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw, Poland. And star from Hong Kong Yu Chui Yee continues to shine.
There were few surprises at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw, Poland this month (5-7 July), with many of the sport’s highly ranked performers consolidating their positions at the top of their respective disciplines.
The Polish squad put in a strong performance on home soil, appearing on the podium 13 times during the course of the event, taking three titles, five silver medals and five third-place finishes.
This tally of top-three finishes was matched only by the Russian contingent, which took even more titles, five in total, with one second-place finish and seven third-place finishes.
The strong team performance of both nations was reflected in the team events. In the women’s team epee competition, Russia were victorious, beating Poland in the final. Belarus finished in third place. In the men’s team sabre, competition it was the strong French side who took the gold medal, with Poland and Russia finishing in second and third place, respectively.
Poland’s Dariusz Pender will have enjoyed his homecoming, returning to title-winning ways with a 15-10 victory in the men’s category A epee final against Artur Yusupov of Russia. In the equivalent category B event, it was Alexandr Kuzyukov who took home the gold medal, defeating American Ryan Estep in the final.
The Russian athletes also proved the strongest competitors in the men’s category C events. Nikolay Lukyanov won with the epee, whilst compatriot Alexandr Logtenko took the top prize in foil event.
Ukraine’s Anton Datsko was again formidable in the category B foil event, winning the gold medal for the third consecutive major competition.
Datsko’s dominance could not extend to the category B Sabre event, however, with Grzegorz Pluta of Poland beating countryman Adrian Castro in the final. Datsko finished in fifth place, narrowly missing out on a podium place for the first time in his past eight competitive events.
In the category A sabre event France’s Romain Noble further underlined his prowess by topping the podium for the second time this year. Victory in Warsaw comes following a win for Noble at April’s Montreal Grand Prix.
In the women’s events, seven-time Paralympic champion Yu Chui Yee added yet more medals to her already incredible collection by winning gold in both the women’s category A epee and foil events.
The star from Hong Kong, who also won both titles at London 2012, looks to have returned to unbeatable form having won the foil event and finished joint third in the epee competition at the Grand Prix Event held in Lonato, Italy, in May.
In the women’s category B epee discipline, Liudmila Vasileva of Russia claimed a somewhat unexpected win over Gyongi Dani of Hungary, with Russia’s Irina Mishurova sharing third place with London 2012 silver medallist Marta Makowska of Poland.
Dani finished in second place in the category B Foil event, too, with Germany’s top wheelchair fencer Simone Briese-Baetke utilising her extensive experience to take a second successive title having also won at the Grand Prix event in Lonato.
In the women’s open category sabre competition, it was a one-two for the Polish athletes. Renata Burdon beat Marta Fidrych in the final with the home crowd offering big support for both competitors.
There is now little time for the athletes to rest and refocus before the biggest event on the 2013 wheelchair fencing calendar – the World Championships will take place in Budapest, Hungary, next month (7-12 August).