Coutya tops the table once again at home
Great Britain's Dimitri Coutya claimed his second consecutive gold medal of his home World Cup in Cardiff on Saturday (13 January), bringing an explosive end to the individual competitions.
Competing in the men’s foil category B, the Paralympic and Worlds bronze medallist went the distance against China’s relative newcomer Benjun Qin.
Qin only made his international debut last year and was competing in his first final. Coutya was able to use his experience to carve out a 15-4 victory against his new rival, leaving him with silver.
“These are really important competitions in the build-up to Paris[…]. To come away with a second gold this week in front of home crowds is something I’m glad to have experienced it,” Coutya said.
Ukraine’s Anton Datsko stepped onto his first foil podium since 2022 with the first bronze, whilst Paralympic silver medallist Daoliang Hu had to settle for the second having been knocked-out in the semi-finals by Coutya.
Thailand’s Saysunee Jana once again headed the field in the women’s epee category B. Remaining unbeaten in the weapon since 2020, Jana’s gold was also her third medal of the competition having landed on the podium in the foil and sabre.
China’s Xiao Rong was the silver medallist adding to her own gold and bronze from the sabre and foil, respectively.
Japan’s Anri Sakurai got her 2024 season off to a great start with her first medal, taking third. South Korea’s Eun Hye Cho bagged her second medal of the competition with the other bronze.
The men’s foil category A showcased the very best of the weapon with China’s Paralympic champion Sun Gang and Asian title holder Saichun Zhong facing off for gold.
The final was incredibly close as China edge towards making their national Paralympic selections. Neither fencers gave an inch, trading touches until the final point, but it was Gang who emerged the victor.
“I feel really excited to win the gold medal and my performance was very good today. I feel very energetic. It’s a tough competition but thank you to my teammate.”
Liqiang Chen completed a trio of Chinese fencers who made it onto the podium with bronze. Hungary’s European champion Richard Osvath secured the final podium spot alongside Chen.
Asian champion Chen Yuandong nabbed another gold for China in the women’s epee category A, beating her teammate Haiyan Gu.
Thailand’s Aphinya Thongdaeng and Hungary’s Amarilla Veres were the bronze medallists.
The World Cup concludes in Cardiff on Sunday with the women’s team epee and men’s team foil and the mixed team sabre.