Beginning on Saturday (8 October) athletes from nations will compete in the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Catania, Italy, which will be held alongside the able-bodied championships.
Chile, Estonia and Macau will take part in the Championships for the first time.
The event will serve as a qualifier for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, as 157 athletes will compete in Foil, Sabre and Epee events.
Foil is the lightest of the three weapons and can be identified by the small hand guard and thin blade with coloured tape affixed to the end of it. Epee is the heaviest sword and closely resembles the duelling swords used in the olden days. Sabre is easily identified by the large handle guard that extends into a curve forming a “basket hilt” around the handle.
Athletes will be split into three classifications. Category A is for athletes with minimal impairments (amputees, low-level paralysis), Category B is for athletes with higher level disabilities (higher-level spinal injuries) and Category C is for athletes with high-level disabilities and limited hand functions (tetra/quadriplegics, cerebral palsy).
The schedule for the Championships is as follows:
8 October: Opening Ceremony; Classification
9 October: Classification
10 October: Individual Men’s Foil A, B, C; Women’s Epee Foil A, B
11 October: Individual Men’s Sabre A, B; Individual Women’s Foil A, B
12 October: Individual Men’s Epee A, B, C; Individual Women’s Sabre A
13 October: Men’s Team Sabre; Women’s Team Foil
14 October: Men’s Team Foil; Women’s Team Epee
15 October: Men’s Team Epee; Women’s Team Sabre