The 2019-2020 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing season is underway in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as athletes have taken to the World Cup piste from Thursday.
The competition follows the 2019 World Championships which delivered several new gold medallists. Many of these will line-up over the coming days as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics edge closer.
Live results will be available online, and a livestream will be available at IWAS Wheelchair Fencing's Facebook page.
China have sent a strong team to Amsterdam across men’s and women’s events. This includes Xufeng Zou in the women’s epee category A.
Zou claimed the world title in Cheongju, South Korea, just two months ago and will try to defend her Paralympic title next year.
Her world and Paralympic silver medallist teammate Jing Bian will also go for gold once again.
Hungary’s former world champion Zsuzsanna Krajnyak had to settle for bronze in Cheongju but still sits ahead of both Zou and Bian in the world rankings.
The presence of the respective world No.1 and No.2 – Russia’s Iuliia Maya and Hungary’s Amarilla Veres – rounds-off a mouth-watering competition in Amsterdam.
Shumei Tan is another Chinese fencer who returns to capitalise on a productive Worlds performance.
The 25-year-old swept gold in both the women’s epee and sabre category B on her debut.
Italy’s Paralympic and multiple world champion Beatrice Vio headlines the women’s foil B.
In the men’s epee category A Great Britain’s Piers Gilliver enters as the new world champion.
Gilliver’s birthday gold – and first world title - put him right at the head of the field with less than one year to Tokyo 2020 where he will try to improve on his silver medal from Rio 2016.
Before then Great Britain will host the 2020 European Championships, offering the 25-year-old the chance to impress at home.
The rest of the medallists from Cheongju 2019 will also return. Russia’s Artur Yusopov finished second to Gilliver, whilst Iraq’s Zainulabdeen Al-Madhkhoori impressed for his first individual senior Worlds medal with bronze.
Russia’s Alexander Kurzin stepped onto the top spot of the podium for the first time in South Korea in the men’s sabre category B. The 47-year-old, who has been competing since 2010, had previously landed bronze in the weapon twice.
The Russian will enter the new season with renewed vigour as he takes on Paralympic silver medallist Pangiotis Triantafyllou and bronze medallist Adrian Castro.
China’s interest continues in the men’s foil. Yanke Feng and Liqiang Chen stole the show at the Worlds in category B and A, respectively.
China are also the current world champions in the two team events on the programme this week – the men’s foil and women’s epee.
The 2019 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Amsterdam runs from 14-17 November. It features men’s and women’s individual and team events across epee, foil and sabre category A, B and C.