China get revenge over Iraq at close of Asian Para Games


China beat Iraq in the final of the men’s team epee at the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou on Saturday (28 October), exacting their revenge over their rivals following their loss at the recent World Championships.

Just a few weeks ago in Terni, Italy, it was Iraq who were victorious in a dramatic match for the world title. But buoyed by their home crowds it was China’s Gang Sun, Benjun Qin and Liqiang Chen who emerged the victors from another close battle.

Sun – who claimed the individual category A gold on Friday – opened proceedings with a 5-0 win over Zainalabdeen Al-Madhkhoori. But Hayder Al-Ogaili closed the gap against new Asian category B champion Qin, bringing Iraq within two points of their opponents.

Rio 2016 silver medallist Ammar Ali then held on against Chen before going to level the score in his next tie against Sun.

There was little to separate the two teams over the following three rounds, leaving it up to the final match between Al-Ogaili and Sun. Unfortunately for Iraq it was Sun who had the edge, landing five hits to Al-Ogaili’s two. The match ended 45-39.

Thailand’s Korakod Sansawang, Kitsada Pakdee and Visit Kingmanaw – a bronze medallist from the individual category B epee – finished third after a win against Japan.

China were also victorious in the women’s team sabre, bringing their gold medal total for wheelchair fencing to 16 overall.

With a squad that contained individual champions Haiyan Gu and Rong Xiao, as well as silver medallist Yuandong Chen, China showed their dominance over Thailand.

Thitirat Penprasittipong, Saysunee Jana and Cholthacha Bussaywiphathorn put up a valiant fight but could not match their opponents and settled for silver.

Hong Kong also dominated in their bronze medal match against South Korea. Ka Man Lam, Yu Chui Yee and Nga Ting Tong showed their quality with a 45-29 win.

At the end of Hangzhou 2023, China topped the wheelchair fencing medals table with 16 gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze medals. Thailand were second with two golds, three silvers and five bronzes. Iraq ended third with three silvers.

Wheelchair fencing at the Asian Para Games featured individual competition in the men’s and women’s foil, epee and sabre category A and B and team events in all three weapons.

The competition acted as the 2023 Asian Championships and offered crucial qualification points for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Full results are available at the Hangzhou 2023 website.