Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Wheelchair fencing: Day five preview

China seek to extend their lead at the top of the medals table on the final day of wheelchair fencing competition at Rio 2016. 16 Sep 2016
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Daoliang Hu (L) of China celebrates winning gold against Anton Datsko (R) of Ukraine during the Men's Individual Foil Category B final of the Wheelchair Fencing on day 6 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Daoliang Hu (L) of China celebrates winning gold against Anton Datsko (R) of Ukraine during the Men's Individual Foil Category B final of the Wheelchair Fencing on day 6 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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By Mike Stuart | For the IPC

China’s men’s and women’s teams will be confident of topping the podium when they compete with the foil in the final wheelchair fencing event of the Paralympic Games.

The Chinese fencers are guaranteed to top the medals table at Rio 2016, having already clinched 15 medals – seven of them gold.

In the men’s team foil event China have such strength in depth that newly crowned foil category B Paralympic champion Yanke Feng did not even make the line-up.

With Daoliang Hu, Gang Sun and Ruyi Ye, China will field the same side that won the 2014 Asian Para Games title in Incheon, South Korea.

Every member of China men’s team has already won a medal at 2016, though Ruyi Ye’s foil credentials are particularly impressive. The category A foil fencer now has three consecutive Paralympic titles and is also the current world champion.

Looking to halt China’s golden run will be foil team world champions France. They were the runners up in the team event at London 2012 and will now look to emulate their counterparts, who won the epee team title for France on Thursday (15 September).

Poland were the team foil runners-up at the 2015 World Championships in Eger, Hungary, and if star man Dariusz Pender is on form, they too could mount a challenge for gold.

In the women’s team foil event it is again difficult to foresee anything other than a China victory. The Chinese trio includes Chuncui Zhang, the foil category A world champion. Zhang surprisingly finished just outside the medals in the individual foil event, so expect a determined performance from her in the team competition. Teammates Jing Rong and Jingjing Zhou will compete with confidence after being part of the team that won Rio 2016 epee team gold.

China’s main rivals for gold in the women’s event are world champions Hong Kong. They stick with the same fencers that won silver in the epee team competition.

That medal saw team member Chui Yee Yu hit a personal tally of 11 and break the record for the most Paralympic medals of any female fencer ¬– an achievement Yu is already confident of improving on.

“We (Hong Kong) are now looking forward to the foil competition.” Yu said. “We will definitely get another medal and I’ll set a new record.”

Zsuzsanna Krajnyak will hope that gold will go Hungary’s way instead. A five-time Paralympian, Krajnyak has won eight medals but never gold. This will be her last chance to do so at Rio 2016.

Italy will also be confident of a good result, given they feature the peerless foil category B gold medallist Bebe Vio. If her teammates perform well, a spirited performance from the seemingly unstoppable Vio would give them an outside chance of taking the title.