USA close wheelchair fencing Americas Championships with gold
Whilst his teammates had already landed on the podium in previous days, Branch was the first to secure the top spot at the 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships.
The USA’s Byron Branch was amongst the gold medallists on the final day of the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships in Saskatoon, Canada, on Sunday (16 September).
Whilst his teammates had already landed on the podium in previous days, Branch was the first to secure the top spot.
Despite entering unranked, the 34-year-old faced a field of Americas medallists in the men’s foil A undaunted.
He overcame Canada’s Matthieu Hebert, the new sabre regional champion, 15-8 in the semi-finals.
Brazil’s Alex Sandro Souza carved his own impressive path to the final. Souza beat defending champion and teammate Fabio Luiz Damasceno 15-7 to secure the final match-up with Branch.
Branch then executed a solid performance against Souza to take the gold, easing past the 2016 silver medallist 15-4.
Damasceno and Souza grabbed the bronze medals.
In the women’s sabre category A, Canada closed their home Championships with gold courtesy of Sylvia Morell.
Morell went head-to-head with Brazil’s Fabiana Soares in the opening round, winning 15-6. The semi-final saw her face the USA’s Victoria Isaacson whom she pushed aside 15-8.
The USA’s Shelby Jensen beat Brazil’s Karina Maia and Canada’s Camille Chai to secure her place in the final.
Morell then showed her experience against Jensen to take the gold after a 15-3 scoreline.
Chai and Isaacson completed the podium.
Brazil’s Jovane Guissone retained his title in the men’s foil category B following a close 13-11 match with teammate Vanderson Luiz Chaves.
Guissone and Chaves both finished in the same positions on the podium as two years ago in Sao Paulo, Brazil – first and second.
Argentinian compatriots Luis Antonio Alarcon and Hugo Alderete left with bronze.
The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships ran from 14-16 September. Around 30 athletes from six countries competed.
Saskatoon 2018 was the first of three regional Championships in 2018.
The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing European Championships get underway in Terni, Italy, from 18-23 September. The Asian Championships then follow as part of the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6-10 October.