Warsaw World Cup perfect preview for Tokyo 2020
Nearly 100 athletes are ready to compete in Warsaw, Poland, at the return of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup after more than 12 months away.
The competition, which will also be the final major competition ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, takes place from 8-11 July.
Host Poland are well represented across weapons in an event where individual and team medals will be up for grabs. Athletes are fencing for honours and to test themselves following the end of the qualification period for the Paralympic Games.
Paralympic bronze medallist Adrian Castro and teammate, father-in-law and rival Grzegorz Pluta – the respective world number one and two – will go for gold in the men’s sabre category B.
RPC’s world champion Alexander Kurzin will provide a tough challenge as will Greece’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Panagiotis Triantafyllou.
Fresh from his team’s gold in the men’s sabre World Championships on Monday, Ukrainian Paralympic title holder Andrii Demchuk will go for individual glory with just under 50 days to Tokyo 2020 in the category A.
Poland’s Kinga Drozdz claimed first place in the last two World Cups at the end of 2019 and into 2020 in the women’s sabre category A. Drozdz also won silver on her World Championships debut.
But the Ukrainian pair of Yevheniia Breus and Nataliia Morkvych are also likely to be in the running. Breus captured bronze at the last Worlds whilst Morkvych is a serial podium finisher in the sabre, which will return to the Paralympic programme in August.
In the men’s epee category B, several world and Paralympic medallists line-up.
These include Belarus’ Paralympic champion Andre Pranevich – also a bronze medallist from the 2019 Worlds and Ukraine’s Oleg Naumenko, the third place finisher from Rio 2016.
Over in the women’s foil, the respective world number two and three of Irina Mishruova and Ludmila Vasileva will represent Russia, competing as RPC, in category B. Vasileva is also a reigning Worlds bronze medallist.
The 2021 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup runs from 8-11 July and features individual and team events in epee, foil and sabre. It is the first competition since February 2020.