Italy's Beatrice Vio did not disappoint her home crowd at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Pisa, Italy.
The 18-year-old won her fourth straight major title, defeating China’s Jingjing Zhou in the gold-medal match of the women’s category B foil to wrap up the four-day competition on Sunday (24 May).
After surviving a tough quarterfinal against Poland's Marta Makowska with a 15-10 score, Vio then dispatched China's reigning Paralympic champion Fang Yao, dropping just three points.
The Italian was confident in her training leading up to the event, and she proved just that in the gold-medal match against Zhou. With friends and family present, Vio stayed strong under pressure to claim the title, 15-10.
Vio added to her golden collection – last year’s World Cup in Eger, Hungary; the Grand Prix in Hong Kong, China; and May’s World Cup in Montreal, Canada – and further established herself as the favourite in September’s World Championships in Eger.
More for Italy
There was more joy for the Italian crowd in the men’s category B foil. Alessio Sarri narrowly made it through a nail-biting battle with China's Siu Lun Leung to reach the final, winning by just one point. Sarri then defeated Great Britain's young talent Dimitri Coutya 15-10 to cap the tournament for the host nation.
Sarri’s win denied Coutya a second successive tournament victory, as Coutya took a surprise win in with the epee at the World Cup earlier this month.
The British team did leave Pisa with a title however. Piers Gilliver returned to the top of the podium with a victory over France's World No. 2 Romain Noble in the category A epee discipline.
Yee still searching
Hong Kong's Yu Chui Yee headed to Pisa looking for her first win in eight months. The seven-time Paralympic champion did reach the final in the category A foil.
But similar to her last World Cup in Montreal, Yee fell at the final hurdle. Yee's form appeared to desert her as she faced Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Krajnyak in the final. Krajnyak, the defending European Champion, looked comfortable as she extended Yee's winless run with a 15-4 victory.
Vadim Tsedrik lifted Ukraine to a title in the men's sabre competition, while China were the victors in the women's team foil event.
For complete results of the IWAS World Cup in Pisa, visit the event website.
Next up for the world's elite wheelchair fencers is the IWAS World Cup in Warsaw, Poland on 9-12 July. The event is the last major competition before the World Championships in September.