Hajmasi gaining in confidence in time for World Cup
Hungary’s Eva Andreja Hajmasi has spoken of her growing confidence in foil and sabre ahead of the first International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup of 2020 in her home country from Thursday (13 February).
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By Sam Harris | For IWAS
Hajmasi will begin the Paralympic year in Eger as the current women’s sabre category A world No.1 and foil European champion and world No.2. A strong field is expected to line-up alongside her, something which the Hungarian relishes.
“It is always a special feeling to fence in front of the national audience. Furthermore, the penultimate World Cup [in Sao Paulo, Brazil] is approaching, so a number of the international field will be in Hungary.”
A consistent run of top 10 finishes last year at World Cup events in Sao Paulo; Warsaw, Poland; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, coupled with a strong showing at the IWAS World Games at the start of 2019 ensured Hajmasi is the woman to beat.
“It is a fantastic feeling that I am actually the first in the overall ranking list. I’ve started to fight with foil in 2010, then later with sabre. It is such a good feeling that I have already strengthened in both of my weapons.”
Watch the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup live from 13 February
Hungary as a team is a force to be reckoned with in wheelchair fencing, highlighted by one gold, eight silver and nine bronze medals from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
However, Hajamsi believes there should be more young athletes coming through to compete and feels the upcoming Paralympics in Tokyo could be the breakthrough: “Though there are only a few young athletes, it would be great if more could start fencing.”
“The Tokyo Paralympics may offer a great publicity reaching those who are interested in fencing. This is important because there are great opportunities in sports.”
The 32-year-old competed at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, memorably claiming a silver medal as part of the women’s foil team.
Hajmasi is looking forward to competing in Tokyo.
“I will go to the piste with more awareness and routine, and I will also have a chance to compete in sabre individual competition, I am so happy with this new opportunity,” she said.
However her initial focus will be on beginning the year in the best possible way, with some medals in Eger where she knows she will enjoy a high-level of support:
“I can highlight my family, friends and close acquaintances who follow up-to-date my career and have great enthusiasm for me and the Hungarian Team! Also, I have to mention my club (Törekvés SE) which gives a great background for me.”
The 2020 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Eger will run from 13-16 February. Live results will be available here.
The competition will be followed by World Cups in Sao Paulo from 11-14 March and Warsaw from 3-6 July.
In between the 2020 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing European Championships will take place in Hatfield, Great Britain, from 26-31 May.