Five to watch at IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships
Wheelchair fencers from around the globe will take to the piste in Eger, Hungary on Thursday (17 September) in a battle for the world title and first direct qualifying event for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Wheelchair fencers from around the globe will take the piste in Eger, Hungary, starting on Thursday (17 September) and battle for the world title.
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Championships will run until 24 September.
Here are five athletes to watch for in Eger:
Vio exploded into the scene at the end 2012, when she was just 16 years old. In December that year, Vio finished runner-up in the foil category B at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Eger, losing in the final to London 2012 silver medallist Dani Gyongi of Hungary. The 2013 World Championships came early for Vio, as the youngster finished 10th in the category B foil event. But she has improved since, and this year, the 18-year-old has won five major events in a row, with July’s World Cup in Poland being the latest. The reigning European champion has had the world title in sight for some time.
Yijun Chen, China
If anyone wants the title in the men’s sabre category A competition, they first must get past China’s Yijun Chen. Reigning world and Paralympic champion, Chen has been selective about when he competes. He is not a regular on the World Cup circuit, but makes himself known when is, winning May’s World Cup in Pisa, Italy. Chen’s main challenge will come from France’s current world No.1. Romain Noble.
Yuliya Efimova, Russia
Having overtaken Poland’s Marta Fidrych to become world No.1 in the women’s epee category A event, Russia’s Yuliya Efimova is due for a major title. Efimova won bronze at the 2013 World Championships and silver at the 2013 European Championships. This year, Efimova will want to underline her status in the rankings with a high-profile gold. A win in Eger would cap a brilliant season for the Russian. But she will have to get past China’s defending world champion Jing Rong, who beat Efimova at the Warsaw World.
Dimitri Coutya, Great Britain
The 17-year-old has shown his potential this year. Dimitri Coutya already made a name for himself as one of the top competitors in the foil and epee category B events, having beaten Russia’s reigning world champion Alexander Kuzyukov for gold in the epee at May’s World Cup in Montreal. Then in July, Coutya defeated Brazil’s London 2012 Paralympic champion Jovane Silva Guissone for the win at the Warsaw World Cup in July. Now, Coutya looks to carry over those performances onto the big stage.
Zsuzsanna Krajnyak, Hungary
When she takes to the piste in her native country, Krajnyak will have the crowd behind her. A World Championships gold would be the perfect boost for the four-time Paralympic on her road to Rio 2016, where she hopes to finally win that elusive Paralympic gold.
To follow the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Eger, visit the IWAS’s Facebook page
Article written by Mike Stuart for the IPC