World champions toppled at wheelchair fencing World Cup
Competition heated up in Tbilisi as the competition was the first to fall within the Tokyo 2020 qualification period.
A win for the hosts and defeats for world champions highlighted the action at the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia, from 8-11 November.
Competition heated up in Tbilisi as the competition was the Tokyo 2020 qualification period opener.
Chinese teenager Haiyan Gu served an upset in the women’s foil category A, beating Hungary’s world champion Zsuzsanna Krajnyak. The 19-year-old grabbed her first World Cup win in the foil with a 15-8 score.
Hungary doubled their medal haul in the event courtesy of Eva Andrea Hajmasi with bronze. Ukraine’s Nataliia Morkvych also sealed third.
Morkvych moved up the order in the sabre, continuing her form as the world champion.
Morkvych beat teammate Yevheniia Breus for gold as Poland’s Marta Fidrych and Hajmasi finished with bronze.
China’s Jing Bian, competing in her first individual event at a World Cup since 2016, was victorious in the women’s epee. Ukraine’s World Championships bronze medallist Breus lost out to Bian 11-5.
Chinese athletes claimed the rest of the medals on offer as Jing Rong and Paralympic champion Xufeng Zou took bronze.
Irma Khetsuriani delighted the home crowds with victory in the women’s sabre category B. The world champion dominated over Belarus’ Anastasiya Kastsiuchkova 15-3 in the final.
Ukraine took the remaining bronzes thanks to Nadiia Doloh and Tetiana Pozniak.
The women’s foil category B went to form as Italy’s world, European and Paralympic champion Beatrice Vio sailed through her final against Russia’s Irina Mishurova 15-5.
Mishurova’s teammate Ludmila Vasileva and China’s JingJing Zhou took bronze.
It was an all-Russian final in the epee category B as world title holder Viktoria Boykova took on Mishurova for gold. Boykova’s path to the final included a semi-final win against China’s Paralympic champion Jingjing Zhou.
Mishurova had to settle for another silver as her teammate, buoyed by her performances, proved too strong on this occasion winning 15-12.
Vasileva took another bronze with Zhou.
Rounding off the women’s events was the team foil.
Italy’s Andrea Mogos, Loredana Trigilia and Vio climbed onto the top spot. Hungary’s Hajmasi, Krajnyak, Boglarka Melo sealed silver. The Chinese team of Bian, Gu, Zou and Zhou were third.
Great Britain’s European silver medallist Piers Gilliver bagged his second World Cup win of 2018 in the men’s epee category A.
Gillver had to get past Russian world and European champion Maxim Shaburov and faced a close battle in the final with his rival. But it was the British fencer that emerged the victor, 15-12.
Shaburov’s compatriot Roman Fedyaev and Germany’s Maurice Schmidt were the bronze medallists.
Returning to the piste after his silver medal from the 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Asian Championships, Iraq’s Ammar Ali won his first World Cup of the year in the men’s epee category B.
Ali proved too much for British world champion Dmitri Coutya to handle in the final, winning 15-10.
Collecting bronze for Brazil was Jovane Guissone and Oleg Naumenko for Ukraine.
World title holder Coutya also got pushed down the podium in the men’s foil.
The gold went to China’s Asian champion Daoliang Hu who triumphed over Ukraine’s Anton Datsko 15-4 in the final. Coutya settled for bronze alongside Italy’s Marco Cima.
Italian world title holder Alessio Sarri just managed to put enough space between him and Russia’s Alexander Kurzin for gold in the sabre category B (15-13).
Poland’s Adrian Castro and Kurzin’s teammate Albert Kamalov left with bronze.
Hungarian Worlds gold medallist Richard Osvath once again occupied the top spot of the podium in the men’s foil category A.
Just one point separated him and Italy’s Emanuele Lambertini as Osvath was the first to reach 15.
Iraq’s Zainulabden Al-Madhkhoori completed the top three with Fedyaev reaching his second podium finish.
Osvath had to give way to China’s Hao Li in the men’s sabre. Li quickly put distance between himself and the Hungarian for a 15-8 win and his second World Cup victory of the year.
Ukraine’s Andrii Demchuk and Russia’s Viktor Dronov rounded off the medals with bronze.
In the men’s team epee Fedyaev, Alexander Kuzyukov, Shabarov and Yusopov were the victors. A strong Iraqi team of Al-Madhkhoori, Ali, Hayder Al-Ogaili and Ali Mnahi were second.
Robert Citerne, Marc Andre Cratere, Yannick Ifebe and Romain Noble won France’s only medal of the competition in third.
Next up is the 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Kyoto, Japan, from 13-16 December, the final edition of the year.