Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Tokyo 2020: Takeaways from wheelchair fencing

Bebe Vio shines as China extend dominance 28 Sep 2021
bebe vio win foil iindividual
Bebe Vio secured her second individual Paralympic gold in Tokyo
ⒸHaruo Wanibe
By Bethany Ashley | For IWAS Wheelchair Fencing

Here are the biggest takeaways from the Tokyo 2020 wheelchair fencing competition, contested at the Makuhari Messe Hall B over five days.

China continue to hoover-up the medals

China are still the dominant force with 20 podiums picked up in Tokyo to top the table in wheelchair fencing. 

This is the highest number the country have collected at any Paralympics so far and includes an astounding 11 gold medals.


China grabbed historic golds in the women’s sabre as the weapon was included on the programme for the first time.

Jing Bian and Shumei Tan took the victory in the category A and B, respectively.

Shumei Tan

Most improved

Great Britain have firmly established themselves on the map as they become the most improved team since Rio 2016. They converted their one medal from Rio into two team and three individual medals in Tokyo. 

Piers Gilliver overcame defending champion Sun Gang on his way to the men’s epee category A final, breaking the Chinese dominance, before going on to claim the gold.

Dimitri Coutya took bronze in both the men’s epee and foil category B. Medals also came for the Brits in the team epee and foil.

An unstoppable force

Despite being hospitalised two months before the Paralympics, Italian icon Beatrice Vio battled through the field to retain her women’s foil category B title.

A rematch against China’s Jingjing Zhou, who she had faced for gold at Rio 2016, saw Vio emerge victorious once again.

ⒸGetty Images

Variety is the spice of life

Fencers showed how both youth and experience is the perfect recipe for an incredible competition.
It was an entirely new Paralympic podium in the women’s foil category A with athletes collecting their first medals in the weapon. China’s Haiyan Gu took gold, Ukrainian Natalia Morkvych took silver, and Gu’s teammate Jing Rong took bronze.

Nino Tibilashvili displayed the great progress made in Georgia in recent years, picking up her country’s first ever wheelchair fencing medal as she secured the silver in women’s epee category A. 

Wheelchair fencing proved to be popular around the globe as 10 different countries made it onto the medal table. These were: China, the Russian Paralympic Committee, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Ukraine, Brazil, Georgia, Poland, and France.