Italian star Beatrice Vio’s sensational run of victories in the world’s top competitions continued as the second day of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Championships wrapped up on Wednesday (8 November) in Rome, Italy.
The home favourite thrilled fans with a comprehensive win in the women’s foil category B event to retain her world title.
It was a great day too for Great Britain’s Dimitri Coutya and Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Krajnyak, who were both crowned double world champions after following up their opening day wins with a second title.
Coutya added the men’s epee category B world title to his gold from the foil event on the opening day Tuesday. The 20-year-old defeated Iraq’s defending world champion and Rio 2016 silver medallist Ali Ammar 15-12 in the semi-final to set up a gold medal match against Italy’s Alessio Sarri. Despite strong home support for Sarri, Coutya landed the decisive blow to win 15-14.
Krajnyak also returned to the top of the podium following her opening day gold in the women’s epee category. This time Krajnyak was unstoppable with the foil as she fenced through a competitive field to take the title. Hong Kong’sYu Chui Yee failed to make it past Eva Hajmasi in the semi-final, which would have made it a repeat of Tuesday’s epee final. Instead, the foil saw an all-Hungarian fight for gold. Krajnyak showed her experience in the final, fencing to a 15-7 victory.
There was almost a third double world champion of the day, coming from the men’s sabre category A contest. Krajnyak’s compatriot and new foil category A world champion Richard Osvath reached the final. In another of many close encounters at the tournament, Osvath was narrowly beaten to the title a 15-14 loss to Russia’s Maxim Shaburov*.
The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the final event as Italy’s reigning world and Paralympic champion Vio took to the piste.
Vio arrived in Rome following five consecutive tournament victories and was confident of adding a sixth in front of vocal Italian support.
The world No.1 started strong, beating Georgia’s new sabre category B world champion Irma Khetsuriani 15-5 in the opening round. Vio then dropped just one point against Russia’s Irina Mishurova* in the semi-final to set up a gold medal match with another Russian, Viktoria Boykova*, in the final.
Vio’s last defeat came against Boykova at the final of the World Cup in Warsaw, Poland, in July 2016. There was to be no repeat of that result, however, as Vio cruised to a 15-3 win and yet another major title.
The IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships continue on Thursday (9 November) with the men’s category A and women’s category B epee events. Sabre events in the women’s category A and men’s category B will also be held.
Complete and live results are available online.
*Editor’s note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.
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