Defending champions toppled, Maia retains title at Americas Championships


Brazil complete an impressive triple at the 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships in Saskatoon, Canada.

Brazilian fencers dominated the piste at the 2018 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships on Saturday (15 September) as Moacir Ribeiro and Jovane Guissone overcame defending champions in men’s epee.

Ribeiro dispatched his teammate and title-holder Fabio Luis Damasceno 15-12 in his first match in the epee category A. He then overcame Canadian top seed and regional bronze medallist Matthieu Hebert in the semi-final.

Meanwhile Brazil’s Lenilson de Oliveira received a bye to advance directly to a semi with Canada’s Ryan Rousell. An exciting match followed with the scores tied at 14-14. De Oliveira secured his place in the final thanks to priority.

Ribeiro’s run of form continued into the gold medal match against Oliveira and he proved too much for his compatriot to handle, winning 15-8 to clinch the title.

Hebert and Rousell left with bronze.

In the category B London 2012 Paralympic champion Guissone added a win to his campaign to return to his best fencing.

Guissone beat Argentina’s Hugo Alderete in convincing fashion in the semi-finals, registering a 15-4 win.

Defending champion and teammate Rodrigo Massarutt broke Canadian hearts on his way to the final, emerging the victor in a close 7-6 bout with Pierre Mainville.

With the stage set for the title match Guissone drew on all his experience to fence his way to an 8-3 win. The gold adds to his silver from the sabre on Friday (14 September) and improved on his second place finish from the last edition in 2016.

Alderte and Mainville had to settle for bronze.

Karina Maia completed the Brazilian hat-trick in the women’s foil category A, retaining her title.

Maia beat teammate Fabiana Soares and the USA’s Shelby Jensen 15-6 and 15-10 respectively on her way to the final.

Elsewhere in the qualification matches, the USA’s Victoria Isaacson put paid to Canadian hopes of a gold with a 15-10 win over Sylvia Morell. Isaacson then faced Brazil’s Suelen Rodolpho in the semi-finals, easing through with a 15-7 scoreline.

Maia, buoyed by her winning run, proved to be the better fencer in the final on the day. The Brazilian registered a 15-9 victory over Isaacson.

Jensen and Rodolpho completed the top three.

The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships run from 14-16 September. Around 30 athletes from six countries are in the hunt for titles.

Live results will be available here.

Saskatoon 2018 is the first of three regional Championships in 2018.

The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing European Championships get underway in Terni, Italy, from 17-23 September. The Asian Championships then follow as part of the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6-10 October.