China’s Gang Sun is selective about the events he competes in, and the strategy paid off at last week’s (9-12 July) International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Cup in Warsaw, Poland.
Sun defeated Russia’s Roman Fedyaev in the final of the category A epee event, before securing a surprise win against compatriot Ruyi Ye in the equivalent foil competition. The two victories set Sun up for September’s World Championships in Hungary, and also allowed him to secure valuable qualification points ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Castro delights home supporters
In the lead-up to the competition, Poland’s Adrian Castro had talked about the pressures of competing at a home event and showed no sign of nerves as he won the men’s category B sabre competition.
Teammate Stefan Makowski nearly added another win to the Polish tally in the category A sabre event. But he had to settle for silver after falling to Ukraine’s Andrii Demchuk in the final.
Russian squad shows strength
The Russians dominated the overall medal table in Warsaw, taking 20 of the 51 available medals.
Ludmila Vasileva won one of four golds, claiming a long-awaited title in the women’s category B epee event. Vasileva showed a winning instinct that has been lacking in previous competitions as she defeated Thailand’s reigning world and Paralympic champion Sayunsee Jana in the final.
Other Russian wins came in the category C events, with Sergei Barinov victorious with the foil and Anna Gladilina taking the epee title. A strong squad performance was then sealed with gold in the men’s team sabre event.
Five in a row for Vio
There were no surprises in the women’s category B foil event as Italy’s 18-year-old world No.1 won her fifth major event in succession.
Vio’s victory in Warsaw adds to a run that started at last year’s World Cup in Eger, Hungary. Her streak continued with gold at the Grand Prix in Hong Kong, China, and then May’s World Cup events in Montreal, Canada, and Pisa, Italy.
Now, Vio is heavy favourite for the next major competition in the calendar – the World Championships in Hungary (17-24 September), where a victory would secure a place on the piste at Rio 2016.