Italian double in Warsaw


Italy secured golds across two major competitions on Sunday (7 July) as their men’s foil team was victorious at the conclusion of the World Cup, and Leonardo Riga won his latest category C world title in Warsaw, Poland.

Paris 2024 hosts France, who finished off the podium at the last Paralympic Games, beat reigning silver medallists Great Britain for a place in the final of the men’s team foil.

There they faced Italy, who finished second at the last World Championships in 2024.

The lead changed hands several times throughout the final clash of the World Cup, delivering a treat for fans watching in the venue and online.

France were holding a relatively comfortable seven-point lead with two bouts to go. In the next tie however, Damian Tokatlian suffered a 12-point rout at the hands of Matteo Betti to hand Italy the lead.

Luca Platania Parisi put up a great performance against Emanuele Lambertini, only losing by one point overall, but the damage was done and Italy were first over the line.

Michele Massa joined his Italian teammates on the podium’s top spot whilst Maxime Valet completed the French silver-medal winning trio.

In the bronze medal match, Great Britain’s Dimitri Coutya, Oliver Lam Watson and Piers Gilliver finished with a flourish in their tie against Poland. Each fencer delivered a winning score, started by Coutya who took the lead against Patryk Banach, in the last three rounds to claim the final top three place.

Sunday saw the first medals of the 2024 Category C World Championships awarded. Category C fencers do not currently have medal events on the Paralympic programme so the Worlds are the highest accolade that can be achieved.

Italy’s Leonardo Rigo successfully defended his world title, won in 2023 in Terni, Italy.

Rigo’s win never looked in doubt as he expertly carved out a lead against Japan’s eventual silver medallist Michinobu Fujita in the final.

Two veterans of the field, Ukraine’s former world champion Serhii Shavkun and Dmitrijs Valainis – a podium finisher at every edition since his debut in 2019 – secured the bronze medals.

The Category C World Championships continue on Monday with the epee. Teams have also stayed on for the 2024 Team Sabre World Championships which will take place alongside the category C version.