The second of the major regional Championships of the year – the 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Euros – gets underway on Monday (17 September).
An important stop on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, despite not being within the qualification period, the competition in Terni, Italy, has attracted some major names.
A series of Paralympic, world and regional medallists and champions are expected to compete.
The men’s field is stacked high with the region’s best fencers. Check out the main contenders for what is expected to be one of the most competitive events.
Men’s sabre category A
The line-up for the men’s sabre category A is punctuated with stars.
That includes Ukraine’s Paralympic and defending European champion Andrii Demchuk.
But the Ukrainian has not topped the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing podium so far this season. In Eger, Hungary, he finished second to Hungary’s Richard Osvath, the man he beat for Paralympic gold at Rio 2016.
In Pisa, Italy, Demchuk also lost out to home fencer Edoardo Giordan. With the Italian looking to convert that momentum and the support of a home crowd into a European gold, Demchuk could be on the ropes again.
A host of other athletes who have finished on the podium at major Championships are also on the hunt for the title.
These include Russia’s* 22-year-old world champion Maxim Shaburov, the owner of an impressive eight world titles from under 23 and senior competitions in the last two years.
Great Britain’s Piers Gilliver also left the World Championships in Rome, Italy, with a silver medal under 12 months ago.
And the French duo of Romain Noble and Ludovic Lemoine should not be forgotten, with a silver and bronze medal respectively to defend in Terni.
The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing European Championships run from 17-23 September.
Live results will be available here.
*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.