Hong Kong, China, Iraq seal Asian Championships team titles

27/04/2024

Hong Kong, China, and Iraq were the victors from the respective women’s team foil and men’s team epee events at the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing Asian and Oceanian Championships in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, on Saturday (27 April) as India also collected their first major Championships medal.

Hosts Thailand entered their women’s team foil final following a long and tense semi-final between South Korea. They just emerged the victors but the tie took a lot out of the team of individual category B champion Saysunee Jana, Aphinya Thongdaeng, Thitirat Pengprasittipong and reserve Duean Nakprasit.

After a strong start from Thailand, their opponents were able to take control of the match. Paralympic wheelchair fencing giant Yu Chui Yee secured the lead against Thongdaeng, with Nga Ting Tong and Ka Man Lam maintaining it.

Despite a valiant effort from Thongdaeng in the seventh round, scoring 14 points against Tong to bring Thailand within two points, Hong Kong, China retained their edge.

It was left to new anchor Ka Man Lam – traditionally the place of Yee – to finish the job against Jana, ending the match 45-40.

“It is the first time for our combination to have a Championships gold medal so I am really happy and really impressed by my teammates and so excited,” Yee said.

“I am very grateful that my team gave me a good score that I could hold,” Lam said. “It makes me feel that the whole team can do it.”

In the fight for bronze against India, Eun Hyo Cho, Yejin Jo, Sunmi Kim and Hyo Kyong Kwon secured their latest medal for South Korea.

In the men’s epee, Iraq made good on their promise of a strong performance following their double gold in individual category A and B events from the previous day.

Zainalabdeen Al-Madhkhoori and Ammar Ali – the new Asian and Oceanian title holders – were joined by Hayder Al-Ogaili and reserve Hussein Al-Abboodi.

Their quality and experience shone through against Thailand’s Visit Kingmanaw, Kitsada Pakdee, Waroot Kaveekat and reserve Phoopa Sae-Sim, a young and promising group of fencers who enjoyed success at the junior Worlds earlier in the week.

Al-Madhkhoori was also celebrating his third gold and fourth medal overall, having also triumphed in the individual epee and foil and reaching bronze with his teammates again in the foil.

“We are working to keep the good result like that in Paris,” Al-Madhkhoori said. “Everyone country is working because it’s not easy to get a medal at the Paralympics but we will keep working to get a medal.”

And there were yet more firsts in the clash for bronze as India won their maiden major Championships medal.

In an incredibly close match against Japan, the lead changed hands several times.

Japan’s Takaki Sasajima, Naoki Yasu and Michinobu Fujita faced India’s Davendar Kumar, Parveen Parveen, Ramesh Venkateshwar Rao and reserve Rakhal Kumar Sethy. The two countries were never more than four points apart as the match got going.

Parveen managed to regain the lead against Sasajima before handing and narrow two hit lead to Rao, who managed to finish the job.

The 2024 Wheelchair Fencing Asian and Oceanian Championships conclude in Nakhon Ratchasima on Sunday (28 April) with a packed agenda. The men’s and women’s sabre category A and B and men’s and women’s team events will all take place in an exciting end to the competition.