Wheelchair fencer Lambertini shines at junior World ChampionshipsThe 17-year-old Italian followed up his Paralympic debut with two world titles. 17 Oct 2016
The future looks bright for Italian teenage wheelchair fencer Emanuele Lambertini, who won two golds, four total medals, at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) U17 & U23 Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Stadskanaal, Netherlands.
The 17-year-old won the under-17 mixed foil and mixed epee events in a competition that saw 39 young fencers from 10 countries compete from 8-11 October; it was the most fencers ever to compete at a junior World Championships.
Lambertini impressed at Rio 2016 as he reached the quarter-final of the men’s foil category A competition. In that event in Stadskanaal, Lambertini took an early lead in the final against Russia’s Oleg Gavrilenko. Although Gavrilenko rallied, he was unable to catch the Italian, who won the bout 15-7.
It was again an Italy-Russia final in the epee. Alena Evdokimova proved a tougher test for Lambertini, with the Italian edging a close tactical encounter 15-14.
Lambertini however could not hold up against Russia’s Maxim Shaburov in the men’s under-23 foil. The more experienced Shaburov, 20, proved too strong in the final, winning 15-10. Lambertini also tied for bronze in the under-23 men’s epee.
Shaburov, the senior European Champion in the men’s epee category A event, never looked troubled as he fenced to gold in the under-23 epee, beating Turkey’s Hakan Akkaya 15-7 in the final. Shaburov accounted for two of Russia’s five gold medals, as the Russians topped the medals table with 14 total.
In the under-17 mixed sabre event, Russian prospect Victor Dronov beat Hong Kong’s Chi Fung Ng 15-8 in the final.
The title extends an excellent season for Dronov, who featured in the men’s sabre category A final at two World Cup events this year, winning silver in Eger, Hungary, in February and Warsaw, Poland, in July.
Evdokimova founds success in the women’s under-23 epee title. The 16-year-old has already made a name for herself at senior level, having won epee category A silver at the European Championships in Torino, Italy, in May.
In a fast and furious encounter with teammate Anna Klimenkova in the finals, Evdokimova proved strongest, winning 15-8 to take gold.
Evdokimova then sealed another junior world title in the equivalent foil event, defeating Georgia’s Nino Tibashvili, 15-1.
The next major event in the wheelchair fencing calendar is the final World Cup event of 2016, in Pisa, Italy, between 11–13 November. For more information, visit the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation’s (IWAS) website.
*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: https://www.paralympic.org/russian-paralympic-committee-suspension