China claim 10-medal haul at wheelchair fencing World Cup

08/07/2023

China ended the individual events of the 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw, Poland, with an incredible 10 medals – including three golds – on Saturday (8 July).

Paralympic and world champion Yanke Feng was involved in one of the most thrilling matches of the day in the final of the men’s foil category B.

Feng was behind against teammate Fan Li Zhu but executed a stunning comeback to put himself right back into contention. After taking the lead, Feng then swapped points with Zhu but landed the final touch to secure his place on top.

Feng: “It was a very tough match. In the first place I was keeping my space and I’m telling myself to go against the pressure and keep my own space,” Feng said.

The podium was in fact a Chinese clean sweep with Benjun Qin and Daoliang Hu taking the bronze.

A hugely successful day for China continued in the women’s epee category A, this time with a new face.

Chen Yuandong – competing at only her second World Cup having debuted in Pisa, Italy, in March – took a surprise victory against Rio 2016 Paralympic and reigning world title-holder Xufeng Xou.

The clash was another close affair but Chen showed that she will be a face to watch from now on, winning 15-12.

Poland claimed their latest medal courtesy of Marta Fidrych alongside Amarilla Veres of Hungary.

Paralympic champion Gang Sun was the third fencer to emerge triumphant from another all-China final in the men’s foil category A.

Sun went up against compatriot Saichun Zhong, who had beat him to gold at the last World Cup in Nimes, France.

Revenge proved sweet for Sun with both men displaying some beautiful, technical fencing that resulted in a close 15-13 scoreline.

“We are teammates, we play together very often and we know each other very well,” Sun said. “During today’s competition at first I defended more and I realised it is not going to work so I changed my tactics.”

Italy’s Emanuele Lambertini and another Chinese athlete, Yang Chen, were the bronze medallists.

Saysunee Jana proved unbeatable once again in the women’s epee category B.

The Thai Paralympic bronze medallist overcame a shaky start against Italy’s Rossana Pasquino, drawing on all her experience to create distance between her and her opponent.

In the end the result was in no doubt as Jana stretched the score to 15-10. It is her fourth World Cup victory of the 2023 season.

Pasquino left with silver whilst Xiao Rong and Su Kang occupied the third spot on the podium.

Ukrainian world champion Serhii Shavkun improved on his silver from the epee earlier in the week to grab glory in the men’s foil category C.

Facing Italy’s Leonardo Rigo – who beat him to the European title in December – Shavkun was determined to leave with at least one gold medal.

In an intense match, Rigo ground down the lead that Shavkun had crafted to draw level at 14-14. With both athletes tiring, Shavkun dug deep to land the last touch.

“The Italian team is strong and it’s always hard to compete with them, but I managed it,” Shavkun reflected.

The 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup concludes in Warsaw on Sunday with the women’s epee, men’s foil and mixed sabre team events.