Pravenich hopes for good end to year at Kyoto World Cup
The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Kyoto will run from 13-16 December and the 35-year-old wheelchair fencer wants to end the year on a high.
By Saniya Surana and IWAS
Belarus’ Paralympic champion Andrei Pranevich will compete at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Cup in Kyoto, Japan, from Thursday (13 December) hoping to end 2018 on a high.
The 35-year-old men’s epee category B specialist has described his season, which includes silver at the 2018 European Championships and a fifth place finish at an earlier World Cup in Warsaw, Poland, in honest terms. Despite being satisfied with the team competitions, Pranevich is less than happy:
“I estimate my performance in individual competitions in 2018 as bad as all goals have not been achieved. Together with my coach we have to analyse the results and to make the correction work in order to improve them. In team competitions we have done our best to be ranked 7th and it is quite a good performance”.
In order to improve, Pranevich has been training five days per week. He has also been sparring with athletes from Latvia and Russia as he tries not only to elevate his performance, but also qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
In Kyoto, Pranevich could take on Great Britain’s world champion Dmitri Coutya. The British fencer beat his rival to European gold in Terni, Italy, in September.
“Dmitri has once again demonstrated that at the moment he is one of the best among us,” Pranevich said. “And I believe that he will gain new achievements and victories and will win new trophies in the nearest future”.
Despite having great admiration for Coutya, Pranevich’s aims are simple for Kyoto: “Like any athlete, [I want] to win the World Cup in individual epee. As for my competitors it is very complicated to say who is the most difficult to compete with. The final results will depend upon drawing. For me all competitors are equal: I do not divide them into weak and strong ones.”
With a career spanning nearly a decade, Pranevich has observed significant changes in wheelchair fencing in recent years. “A lot of new fencers and nations have now begun practicing wheelchair fencing. As a result, the competitiveness has increased greatly. Fencing tactics and technique have changed. The sport calendar now has stable frameworks: the same host countries for staging World Cups, the dates are relatively fixed.”
Pranevich signs off with a warm to the younger generation who he knows are coming to challenge him: “I would like to wish all younger fencers many medals and new wins and never to surrender and always believe in themselves. Most importantly, fencing should bring pleasure and satisfaction all the time.”
The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Kyoto will run from 13-16 December. It is the second World Cup competition to take place within the qualification period for Tokyo 2020.
A further five World Cups and the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea, from 24-30 September will take place in 2019.