France dominate team events at close of Busan World Cup
France registered impressive performances at the 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Busan, South Korea, on Tuesday (5 September), winning two out of a possible three golds in the team events.
They overcame Paralympic silver medallists and European champions Great Britain in the men’s foil, getting past a team that included Tokyo 2020 and World Championships podium finisher Dimitri Coutya.
Luca Platania Parisi, Maxime Valet and Damian Tokatlian faced a tough battle with the British team, formed of Coutya, Oliver Lam Watson and Joshua Waddell.
With the match nearing its conclusion, France had managed to carve out a six-point lead heading into the final face-off between Platania Parisi and Lam Watson.
But Lam Watson was not about to let the gold slip away easily. He landed eight hits to put the Frenchman under huge pressure and bring himself within one point of Platania Parisi. But France just held onto their early momentum and Platania’s five-point total was enough to seal the win at 42-45.
Poland’s Michal Nalewajek, Michal Dabrowski and Darisuz Pender took home the bronze after Italy withdrew ahead of their semi-final with France.
All matches can be watched on-demand at the wheelchair fencing website.
France’s other gold came in the mixed sabre. Whilst it is not a Paralympic medal event, the new format is being trialled and teams are keen to impress.
France did so once again with Brianna Vide, Sophie Sablon and Ludovic Lemoine, rounded off by Valet who was making a second appearance on the finals piste on Tuesday.
The French lost their first two bouts against Hyo Kyeong Kwon and Eun Hye Cho, but the tables turned when Lemoine faced Jin Sol Lee. Lemoine stunned with 10 hits to take a three-point lead heading into the final clash between Valet and Chunhee Park. Valet then took his team across the finish line with a five-point score.
Thailand were the only team to dash French chances on the final day of competition.
They knocked them out of contention in the semi-final of the women’s epee team before going on to face Hong Kong for gold.
The match was equal in the first two rounds but Paralympic epee individual silver medallist Saysunee Jana, Aphinya Thongdaeng and Duean Nakprasit took and held the advantage from there on in.
Multiple Paralympic medallist Yu Chui Yee, Pui Shan Fan and Nga Ting Tong settled for silver.
In the bronze medal match, Poland secured their second podium of the day.
Marta Fidrych, Jadwiga Pacek and Kinga Drozdz took control against Clemence Delavoipiere, Vide and Sablon to claim the final medal place.
The 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup ran from 2-5 September in Busan and followed the under 23s World Championships held in the same location.
Fencers now head home to put the final touches to preparations for the senior World Championships, taking place in Terni, Italy, from 2-8 October.
Media accreditation for Terni 2023 is open until 30 September. Please contact: [email protected] for more details.