Beatrice Vio’s win in the International Wheelchair and Sports Federation (IWAS) World Cup event in Paris, France, held 21-25 October, gave her a remarkable seventh gold in a row in major competitions. Vio defeated China’s Jingjing Zhou 15-13 in a tense women’s foil category B final to make an unbeaten season a very real prospect.
Vio’s last defeat was now over a year ago, when she lost by just a point to Hungary’s Gyongi Dani in the semi-final at the Warsaw World Cup in September 2014.
The 18-year-old ended last year with wins at the World Cup in Eger, Hungary, in November and the Hong Kong Grand Prix in December. She carried this form into the 2015 season, where she has looked unstoppable, winning the Montreal Grand Prix and the World Cup in Pisa, Italy, in May; the World Cup in Warsaw, Poland in June; and the World Championship title in Eger, Hungary in September.
Now, the attention turns to December’s World Cup in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where Vio can end an entire season without defeat.
Vio's win was a rare departure from the Chinese squad's dominance in Paris. Chinese athletes took six titles, including victories in both team competitions.
China's Xu Feng Zou followed her surprise double victory at the World Championships with gold in the women’s epee category A in Paris. Zou beat compatriot Chuncui Zhang 15-7 in the final.
In the equivalent category B event, Latvia’s Polina Rozkova secured her first of the season. Rozkova’s final win against China’s Jingjing Zhou was her first of the year. But after a season of solid results, Rozkova now moves to No.2 in the world rankings.
Consecutive wins for Castro
Another athlete in excellent form is Poland's Adrian Castro. Castro’s victory in the sabre category B earned him gold for the fourth major event in succession.
Castro showed the same form that earned him the world title in the discipline at last month's World Championships. That victory came after World Cup wins in Pisa and Warsaw.
In Paris, Castro defeated Ukraine's Anton Datsko 15-8 in the final to take gold. Datsko was the last fencer to defeat Castro in a major competition, in the final of the World Cup in Montreal.
Complete results of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Paris can be found at IWAS’ website.