Guissone back on track ahead of home World Cup
Having missed out on a medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, Brazil’s Jovane Guissone is back on track.
The reigning Americas men’s epee category B champion – and London 2012 gold medallist – returned to the podium at Tokyo 2020 and proved he still has what it takes.
To sweeten the deal, Guissone now has two chances in 2022 to dazzle in front of home crowds. He plans to grab them firmly.
“We have a lot of time to work on it. My goal will always be to improve my fencing. I usually study Olympic fencing matches and I bring some elements to the Paralympic one. I absolutely want to be an American champion,” Guissone said of the Americas Championships which will take place in Sao Paulo in October.
The 2022 calendar also opens with a World Cup in the same city in just under 10 days, from 14 April.
Guissone will start the new season with fresh optimism as a Paralympic medallist once again, having put a tough few years behind him. He is now also a father to twins.
“A lot of things, a lot of changes. Our work has always been focused on the final results. In 2016, I had some family and health problems. In 2017, I had a serious injury in my arm, and I had to do a lot of physiotherapy and physical preparation. And fencing, of course. My goal was competing in Tokyo 2020 without any injuries and in good physical shape. That is what happened, I am very happy about it.”
Like a growing number of wheelchair fencers, Guissone is a professional athlete. As a proud husband and father the sport not only allows him to travel the world and compete at the highest level, it also means he can earn a living.
“I needed a medal because I view fencing as a sport and a job. It is through fencing that I pay my bills and support my family. I thought a lot about becoming a Paralympic medallist in Tokyo,” Guissone said.
Despite waiting nearly 10 years to return to the Paralympic podium Guissone says that his silver medal has not changed his mindset or approach. Instead change has come elsewhere, including somewhere you might not expect.
“I am older and the father of two little princesses,” Guissone said, laughing. “It is not easy. I already have grey hair. But it is so good. I usually wake up in the morning, workout, go to physiotherapy and, later, share housework, and take care of my kids etc.”
“I was born in Rio Grande do Sul [state in the southern region of Brazil] and I love barbecue [“gaúchos”, those who were born in Rio Grande do Sul are known as good cooks of barbecue and barbecue connoisseurs]. But when I tasted Japanese food, I loved it! My family loves Japanese food.”
So does the grey hair and busy family life impact his future ambitions for wheelchair fencing?
“It was two unprecedented medals for me and my country [London 2012 and Tokyo 2020]. I am working hard to earn some more.”
The 2022 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup calendar gets underway in Sao Paulo from 14-17 April and features four more editions in Thailand, Italy, Poland and Hungary between April-November.
Live broadcast will be available at the wheelchair fencing website alongside live results.
The 2022 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships take place from 20-23 October.