The Ukraine women’s sabre team successfully defended their world title on Sunday (12 November), the final day of the International Wheelchair and Amputee (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Rome, Italy.
The Ukrainians lined up against a confident Italy team in the final. The host nation had already won the men’s sabre and both the men’s and women’s foil team titles in Rome, and were hoping for another golden day in front of the home fans.
It was Ukraine that showed their strength from the start with Nataliia Morkvych and Yeheniia Breus, the women’s sabre category A World No.1 and No.2 respectively, securing Ukraine an early nine-point advantage.
Undaunted, Italy threatened a comeback through Andrea Mogos. Already a world champion from the foil team event, Mogos looked intent on topping the podium again, turning the tables with a 14-4 victory over Ukraine’s Nadiia Doloh to earn a narrow lead.
It was not to be enough, however, as Breus immediately fenced Ukraine ahead once more. It was a position Ukraine never relinquished, eventually taking the title 45-31.
In the final day’s other competition, Russia* went head-to-head with reigning world and Paralympic champions France in the final of the men’s epee team event.
Despite being favourites for gold, France never really found a way into the final as Russia took the initiative.
The Russian trio led from the first bout to the last, spurred on by new individual men’s epee category A world champion Maxim Shaburov. Shaburov was consistently clinical throughout the final, winning each of his three matches.
It fell to Shaburov’s teammate Artur Yusupov* to see out the contest, which he duly did, defeating France’s Romain Noble 5-0 to secure a 45-28 victory and the world title.
The win capped a strong tournament for Russia in which they topped the overall medals table with seven gold, seven silver and 11 bronze medals. Hosts Italy finished in second place, having captured five gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals.
Complete 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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