Road to Tokyo ends in Warsaw
The road to Tokyo 2020 is now even shorter for wheelchair fencers with the conclusion of a thrilling International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday (11 July).
Russia, who will compete as RPC in Tokyo, grabbed a total of eight golds across individual and team events, including those won on the first day of competition on Thursday.
In the women’s foil category B an all-Russian final saw European silver medallist Irina Mishurova beat Victoria Boykova.
Georgia’s Irma Khetsuriani was the only non-Russian on the podium with bronze alongside Liudmila Vasileva.
European champion Roman Fedyaev ensured that his country grabbed another gold in the men’s foil category A. His Ukrainian opponent Andrii Demchuk was competing in his first final since 2013 but this time had to settle for silver.
Oleg Gavrilenkov and France’s Damien Tokatlian rounded off the podium.
Albert Kamalov won his men’s foil category B final against Ukraine’s Anton Datsko. Kamalov’s compatriot Timur Khamatshin and Patryk Banach of Poland were the bronze medallists.
In the men’s épée category A, number six seed Maxim Shaburov defeated top seed compatriot Artur Yusupov for the gold medal in what was an all-Russian podium.
Nikita Trofimov won bronze and Fedyaev also added to his medal collection with the same colour.
Russia then rounded off the competition by claiming gold in both the men’s epee and women’s foil team events.
Mishurova, Iuliia Maya, Evgeniia Sycheva and Alena Evdokimova took the foil win.
Ukraine’s Natalia Morkvych, Nadiia Doloh, Nataliia Mandryk and Olga Yesina were the silver medallists ahead of the Georgian trio of Gvantsa Zadishvili, Nino Tibiashvili and Khetsuriani.
Shaburov, Kuzyukov, Yusopov and Fedyaev were the dream team in the men’s epee, breaking Polish hearts.
But Michael Nalewajek, Michal Dabrowski, Dariusz Pender and Norbert Calka can be pleased with their silver, which saw them defeat Paralympic title holders France in the semi-final.
France lost out on a place in the final by just three points to a Polish team determined to impress at home. Gaetan Charlot, Yohan Peter, Tokatlian and Luca Platania Parisi leave Poland with team bronze.
Ukraine get in on the action
World Championships bronze medallist Natalia Morkvych won the women’s foil category A after a closely contested final with Russia’s Alena Evdokimova which she won by just one point.
Bronze medallists were Russia’s Iuliia Maya, beaten 15-0 by Morkvych, and Ukraine’s Nataliia Mandryk.
Serhii Shavkun earned Ukraine gold in the men’s foil category C, beating Russia’s Aleksandr Kuritskii, to add to his epee win from Wednesday (8 July) in Warsaw.
Israel’s Kanstantin Kavaliou and Italy’s Leonardo Rigo occupied third place on the podium.
Home gold for Poland
World Championships silver medallist Kinga Dróżdż won the final by a score of 15-8 against Ukraine’s Natalia Morkvych to win gold in the women’s sabre category A.
She had defeated compatriot Marta Fidrych 15-11 in the quarter-finals and then Georgia’s number one seed Nino Tibilashvili 15-8 in the semi-finals before claiming the gold.
Tibilashvili and Ukraine’s Yevheniia Breus claimed the bronze medals.
Following on from her bronze in the foil, Khetsuriani climbed to the top of her 14th World Cup podium in the sabre. The Georgian proved too much for Ukrainian European title-holder Olena Fedota.
Fedota’s teammate Nadiia Doloh stood alongside Poland’s Patrycja Hareza in third position.
France’s Peter Yohan returned to the No.1 spot in the men’s epee category B, having reached the top before in 2018.
Silver medallist Oleg Garkuls-Gurevics of Latvia enjoyed having a medal hung around his neck for the first time in his career, as did Poland’s Patryk Banach with bronze. Russian 2013 world champion Alexander Kuzyukov completed the medallist’s quintet.
The 2021 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw was the final competition ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games which gets underway on 24 August.