Expect a carnival in Carioca Arena 3 on Tuesday (13 September) as Brazil’s London 2012 Jovane Silva Guissone goes for a second consecutive gold medal.
Speaking in the run-up to the event, Guissone implied he was feeling excitement rather than nerves ahead of competing at a home Games.
“I am very confident for Rio 2016.” Guissone said. “I really want to defend my title and win my second Paralympic gold medal. Added pressure is a given, but we have to know how to manage it and not let it get in the way.”
Looking to spoil Guissone’s party will be Belarus’s World No. 1 Andrei Pranevich and Iraq’s Asian Champion Ali Amar. Hong Kong’s Tam Chik Sum, who lost to Guissone in the London 2012 final, will also be out to make amends.
History could be made in the women’s epee category A competition when Hong Kong’s Chui Yee Yu takes to the piste at Rio 2016, her fourth Paralympic Games.
With nine Paralympic medals to her name, seven of them gold, Yu is just one away from equalling the record for the most Paralympic medals held by a female fencer, set by France’s Patricia Picot at Athens 2004
After struggling for form, Yu appears to have returned to winning ways just at the right time, taking gold in the women’s foil category A at the World Cup in Warsaw, Poland in July, the final event before the Games.
Yu’s main rival for gold, Hungary’s Zsuszanna Krajnyak, is another experienced competitor. Krajnak has medalled at the four previous Paralympic Games, though is yet to win gold. The 37-year-old will do everything she can to change that in Rio.
The men’s epee category A competition is one of the most difficult to predict, as talented up-and-coming fencers go head-to-head with experienced medal winners.
Going for gold at his first attempt is Great Britain’s World No. 1 Piers Gilliver, who is relaxed ahead of his first Paralympic appearance.
“It’s amazing to finally be here, just a really incredible experience,” Gilliver said.
“We’ve been in a holding camp for the past couple of weeks and now we’ve tapered our training. The hard work’s all done, so it’s now just keeping the performance levels topped up and getting familiar with the surroundings.”
Looking to make it an uncomfortable Paralaympic debut for Gilliver are Chinese pair Gang Sun, the current world champion, and Jianquan Tian, the gold medal winner at Beijing 2008 who will want to improve on the bronze he won in the sabre competition on Monday (12 September).
Thailand’s reigning world and Parlaympic champion Sayunsee Jana is the one to watch in the women’s epee category B. If anyone can stop Jana it is China’s Asian Championships winner Jingjing Zhou. Also look out for Germany’s London 2012 silver medallist Simone Briese-Baetke. After a lengthy spell out because of illness, she appears to be back to her best, winning the epee title at the World Cup event in Warsaw, Poland, in July
Credit: Mike Stuart for IPC