China sweep trio of World Cup team golds
Chinese wheelchair fencers once again showed their dominance at the 2023 wheelchair fencing World Cup Sunday (23 April), claiming all three gold medals on offer to close the competition in Nimes, France.
The Paralympic champions faced a tough Hungarian team in the women’s foil.
The match was evenly balanced throughout as Haiyan Gu, Rong Xiao and Xufeng Zou took on Zsuzsanna Krajnyak, Eva Hajmasi and Boglarka Mezo.
Like China, Hungary have a good history in the event having won bronze at Tokyo 2020.
China were leading until the third bout when Krajnyak put on a show against Xiao, landing 10 hits to her opponent’s three to give Hungary the lead.
The advantage was short-lived however. Gu regained the lead and China went on to win three of the last four clashes to secure their victory.
Paralympic silver medallists Italy secured bronze against Georgia. Andreea Mogos, Alessia Biagini, and Loredana Trigilia took control of their matches against Gvantsa Zadishvili, Nina Tibilashvili and Irma Khetsuriani, gaining enough ground to survive a surge from the Georgians in the final two bouts.
China also took gold in the men’s epee team and the mixed sabre team.
Gang Sun, Jie Zhang and Liqiang Chen barely faltered against Iraq’s Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist Ammar Ali and teammates Hayder Ol-Gaili, Zainulabdeen and Al -Madhkhoori.
Hosts France did not end the competition empty-handed, taking the bronze. Gaetan Charlot, Luca Platania Parisi and Yohan Peter stepped onto the third step of the podium.
Men’s sabre category B Paralympic title-holder Yanke Feng made sure of a clean-sweep of golds for China in the mixed sabre team.
This event is now in its second year on the World Cup programme as the sport’s experiments with new events and formats to keep things interesting.
Its blink-and-you-will-miss-it speed that features four matches in total – two men’s and two women’s – is a test of both physical and mental skill.
Feng and compatriots Li Hao, Ao Lanzhu and Haiyan Gu had what it took against Andrii Demchuk, Dmytro Serozhenko, Nadiia Doloh and Nataliia Morkvych.
France also finished in the top three, winning bronze against South Korea. Ludovic Lemoine, Maxime Valet, Clemence Delavoipiere and Sophie Sablon made sure of the second French podium appearance of the day.
The 2023 wheelchair fencing World Cup ran from 20-23 April and featured men’s and women’s sabre, epee and foil category A and B as well as team events. As well as medals, qualification points for the Paris 2024 Paralympics were on offer.
The next editions of the World Cup will be in Warsaw, Poland, from 6-9 July and Busan, South Korea, from 30 August – 1 September.
The highlight of the 2023 season will be the World Championships in Terni, Italy, from 2-8 October.