Italy’s Bebe Vio won double gold at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Eger, Hungary, which concluded on Sunday (19 February).
It happened just days after picking up the prestigious 2017 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award.
World No.1 Vio defended her women’s foil category B title with an impressive 15-1 final win over Ukraine’s Tetiana Pozniak.
The win is Vio’s third consecutive major title, as she looks to again build a run of victories like she did in 2016, when she won 11 straight tournaments.
Pozniak had fared better in the women’s epee category B competition the previous day, beating Japan’s surprise finalist Anri Sakurai.
Vio returned to the podium on the final day of competition as the Italian team defeated hosts Hungary to win the women’s team foil event. Italy were behind going into the final match before a 6-2 win for Vio in her bout against home favourite Zsuzsanna Krajnyak secured a 45-42 scoreline overall.
The home crowd still had plenty to cheer, however, with Hungary’s Amarilla Veres winning gold in the women’s foil category A contest. Veres’ aggressive style gave her the edge in the final, where she proved too strong for Ukraine’s Yevheniia Breus.
Hungary’s Richard Osvath was also a title winner in Eger, beating Italy’s Emanuele Lambertini to secure men’s foil category A gold.
In the men’s foil category B contest, Belarus’s Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Andrei Pranevich beat British rival Dimitri Coutya to take gold. Pranevich landed the crucial strike in a tight final to win 15-14.
There was more gold for Ukraine in the men’s foil category B event, where Anton Datsko came out on top. Datsko defeated Russia’s Albert Kamalov* 15-10 to seal the title.
A successful tournament for the Ukrainian team was capped with victory for Andrii Demchuk in the men’s sabre category A. Reigning Paralympic champion Demchuk outclassed Russia’s under-17 world champion Viktor Dronov* 15-5 in the final.
After taking the title at the last World Cup in Pisa, Italy, in November, Italian Alessio Sarri was again the victor in the men’s sabre category B contest. Sarri beat Poland’s world No.2 Adrian Castro to top the podium.
Sarri and his teammates then had to settle for silver in the final event of the competition, with Russia* proving too strong for Italy in the final of the men’s team epee contest.
Complete results from the IWAS World Cup in Eger can be found on the event website. Competition photos can also be viewed on the event Facebook page.
The next event in the 2017 wheelchair fencing season sees the World Cup series return to Pisa, Italy, with competition taking place 17-19 March.
*Editor’s note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 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. For further information please click here.