2018 in Review: Wheelchair fencing

Four key moments as road to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics begins 19 Dec 2018
four male wheelchair fencers on the podium including Jovane Guissone holding a Brazilian flag

Jovane Guissone (second left) claimed double gold at Saskatoon 2018

ⒸEnya Bird Productions

World Cups and regional Championships occupied the wheelchair fencing calendar this year. Here is a look back at the moments that stood out from 2018:

Trio for Vio

Despite suffering her first defeat in two years earlier this week, the reigning Paralympic and world champion can still look back on 2018 as a success. She captured her third straight European title – and on home territory in Terni – in the women’s foil B category. Still just 21 years old, Vio looks well on course for more at the 2019 World Championships and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Guissone getting back on track

Brazil’s Jovane Guissone survived a close bout to retain his Americas title. It must have been a good feeling after three World Cup bronze medals in the men’s foil category B prior to the Americas Championships in Saskatoon, Canada. He also took regional gold in the men’s epee and appears to be back in the form that helped him win the Paralympic title at London 2012.

Incredible in Indonesia

One of the growing sports on the continent, wheelchair fencing took place over five days of competition during the Asian Para Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Games also served as the Asian Championships, and one of the sport’s legends made a strong return to the top.

Hong Kong’s multi-Paralympic champion Yu Chui Yee began her campaign with a rousing note, winning the women’s individual foil category A gold. She then battled past a late challenge from Chinese newcomer Gu Haiyan to win gold; it was a bout to remember. Tied 12-12, Yee drew on her experience to fight her way to a 15-12 scoreline and the gold. The Hong Kong star said she is targeting a fifth Paralympic appearance.

Road to Tokyo 2020 begins

The road to the next Paralympic Games officially started in November at Tbilisi, Georgia, where the World Cup opened the first qualification opportunities toward Tokyo 2020. As well as the medals offered, performances went toward a rankings list which will determine who gets a ticket to Tokyo.

Chinese teenager Haiyan Gu caused a major 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. It was Gu’s first World Cup win in the foil and adds to her Asian Championships silver medal from October.