China secure trio of victories to close World Cup

26/05/2024

Chinese fencers were in top form once again on Sunday (26 May), winning all three team golds on offer at the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

China won the men’s team epee, emerging the victors after another close final against Great Britain.

They are the World and Paralympic silver medallists whilst Great Britain grabbed bronze at Tokyo 2020.

Individual Paralympic bronze medallist from the category A, Jianquan Tian, Sun Gang and Jie Zhang led throughout the match, but were never more than four points ahead of Joshua Waddell, category B Paralympic medallist Dimitri Coutya and Oliver Lam-Watson.

Sun was left to show his quality in the final bout against Waddell, where he was able to reach the 45-point threshold first.

Iraq triumphed in their bronze medal match against Ukraine. Ammar Ali, Zainalabdeen Al-Madhkhoori and Hayder Al-Ogaili will be pleased with another podium finish this close to the next Paralympic Games.

The Chinese women, who are preparing to defend their Paralympic title this year, were also victorious in the team foil, winning 45-29 against Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists Hungary.

But Yuandong Chen, Haiyan Gu and Xiao Rong needed until the second half of the match to really put their stamp on it.

Gu’s tie with Eva Hajmasi was the turning point, handing over to Rong who landed five hits against Boglarka Mezo. Chen was also clinical against Hajmasi before Gu took China over the line against Zsuzsanna Krajnyak.

Ukraine were the bronze medallists as Nataliia Mandryk, Nataliia Morkvych and Nadiia Doloh got past Thailand 45-35.

China’s last gold came in the mixed team sabre, a non-Paralympic format which is being developed and tested.

All teams must feature two male and two female fencers competing in four bouts, with the women fencing the first two bouts followed by the men. The first to 20 points wins.

Rong, Gu, Yanke Feng and Tian faced Olena Fedota-Isaeiva, Morkvych, Dmytro Serozhenko and Andrii Demchuk. Gu put in a star performance to give China a three-point lead, and Ukraine could not claw themselves back into contention.

France’s Sophie Sablon, Brianna Vide, Maxime Valet and Ludovic Lemoince faced Venezuela in the bronze medal match, taking the win.

The Sao Paulo 2024 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup was the last competition of the Paralympic qualification period. Fencers will now return home with less than 100 days to go until Paris 2024, where they will fence in front of sold-out crowds at the iconic and newly restored Grand Palais.

They will have one more chance to compete ahead of the Paralympic Games, gathering in Warsaw, Poland, for one final World Cup from 4-7 July.