France gears-up for wheelchair fencing World Cup
Getting underway on Thursday (20 April), just a few days after the countdown to the Paris 2024 Paralympics passed 500 days to go, the next wheelchair fencing World Cup of 2023 heads to Nimes, France.
A stellar line-up of Paralympic, world and European medallists and top ranked fencers will compete for a place on the podium and coveted Paralympic qualification points.
The competition will be broadcast live here between 20-23 April alongside live results. Expert commentary will come from five-time team and individual Paralympic gold medallist Cyril More.
Hosts France have an impressive track record in wheelchair fencing spanning decades. Their current team boasts a mix of international medallists and up-and-coming fencers who are hoping to make a big impact in 2024.
Maxime Valet is the current world No.2 in the men’s foil and sabre category B. In December he picked up his latest European medals with a silver in the foil and bronze in sabre. So far this season, at the two previous World Cups, he has reached the top three in both weapons.
Yohan Peter broke his way onto the European podium for the first time last year, claiming silver in the men’s epee category B.
Peter was also part of the team that won bronze in the foil at Tokyo 2020, as was Damian Tokatlian. Tokatlian is the European individual bronze medallist.
Laurent Vadon and Cecile Demaude are two more French athletes riding on a wave of good form.
Vadon returned to the European podium for the first time since 1997 at the end of last year, securing bronze in the men’s foil category B.
Meanwhile Demaude grabbed her first ever individual regional medal with bronze in the women’s epee category B.
The French also have an eye firmly on the future and have recruited some exceptional new talents.
Amongst those making headlines are 23-year-old Brianna Vide.
Vide made her international debut in 2015 as a teenager before bagging medals at the under 23s World Championships in 2017 and 2019. Then just after winning her first World Cup medal in 2022 in the women’s sabre category A, and on her European Championships debut, the youngster landed bronze in the epee.
Clemence Delavoipiere is another promising prospect having made her debut in 2021. The 23-year-old has been part of multiple medal winning teams in the epee. On an individual basis Delavoipiere left her first under 23s Worlds with a medal from each weapon, including gold in the epee.
Luca Platania Parisi has had a steep rise to the top since his first international appearance in 2019. After taking a couple of seasons to get a feel for the field, the 21-year-old decided he had waited long enough to register his presence. In 2022 he reached the top three of the men’s epee category A for the first time and went on to claim two more medals.
Look out also for Quentin Fernandez-Anssoux. Just one year into his international career, the 19-year-old made a splash in his debut season in 2022 by winning bronze in both the men’s foil and epee at the under 23s World Championships.
The Nimes 2023 wheelchair fencing World Cup will feature competition in men’s and women’s epee, foil and sabre category A and B. The men’s epee and women’s foil team will also feature alongside the mixed team sabre.
It is the third World Cup of 2023. Editions have already been held in Washington D.C., USA and Pisa, Italy. The circuit will also head to Busan, South Korea; Warsaw, Poland and Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The 2023 World Championships will take place in Terni, Italy, from 2-8 October as well as the Asian Championships in Hangzhou, China, from 23-28 October.