Italy, Poland, sweep golds at Busan World Cup

03/09/2023

Italian and Polish fencers impressed in the sabre and epee at the 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Busan, South Korea, on Sunday (3 September), winning two gold medals each. All matches are available live and on-demand, alongside results, at the wheelchair fencing website. Italy’s Rossana Pasquino got Italy’s gold rush underway in the women’s […]

Italian and Polish fencers impressed in the sabre and epee at the 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Busan, South Korea, on Sunday (3 September), winning two gold medals each.

All matches are available live and on-demand, alongside results, at the wheelchair fencing website.

Italy’s Rossana Pasquino got Italy’s gold rush underway in the women’s sabre category B.

The World Championships bronze medallist faced two tough final matches to secure the win, overcoming Thailand’s Saysunee Jana in the semi-final and then Hungary’s Boglarka Mezo in the final.

Both bouts ended 15-12. Pasquino was delighted with her day’s work, cementing her position as the world No.1 at the last competition ahead of her home World Championships in October.

“Jana and Mezo are two huge competitors so I am pretty happy,” Pasquino said. “Mezo I didn’t fence her since before Tokyo. And Jana is strong, tall and I am short and not very fast so it was not easy at all. But it’s ok, I did a good job.”

Despite missing-out on gold, Mezo will no doubt be satisfied with her best finish this year in the sabre.

It is also Jana’s fourth podium finish of 2023 with bronze. The Thai fencer sat alongside Georgia’s Irma Khetsuriani – also celebrating four medals in the weapon so far – in third.

Matteo Dei Rossi was the second Italian of the day to top the standings in the men’s epee category A.

He took on France’s world ranked number 3 Luca Platania Parisi in the final, easing past him with a 10-point cushion.

Beginning the competition as the fifth seed, Dei Rossi’s result is made even more impressive by the fact he was nursing a double-shoulder injury.

“The shoulder now is good but I have a little problem for dislocation for both shoulders now. In the past it was only the right but now I have the left!”

“I fight with the best of wheelchair fencing,” Dei Rossi continued, reflecting on the quality field he faced on Sunday. “I think the day is very amazing. I am happy. I increase my attitude, performance for all competition. And now I see if I go to the Paralympic Games or not.

“I train the first my mind. My tactics is thinking a lot to find the correct target. I think a lot about where the correct place is to hit my opponent.”

With his silver, Plantania Parisi remains a key face to watch ahead of his home Paralympics in Paris at the age of just 22.

Another youngster – German 24-year-old Maurice Schmidt – reached his second top three finish of the year with bronze. Poland’s European bronze medallist Dariusz Pender also reached the podium in third.

Poland matched Italy’s performance on the second day of action in Busan.

In the women’s sabre category A European champion and top seed Kinga Drozdz surged to her latest victory, bringing her golden total to three for 2023.

Georgia’s Nina Tibilashvili, the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist, was her familiar opponent in the final.

“I tried to do my best and I do it I think,” Drozdz said. “I hope my coach who is absent is proud of me and for sure he saw the final.”

As well as her victory from the individual sabre, Drozdz’s mind is firmly fixed on her country’s chance in the women’s epee team. Poland are the European champions and are hoping for a good result both in Busan and at the Worlds.

“We are on a good way towards the World Championships and also on the epee team, we are so strong and we have a good spirit,” Drozdz concluded. “I think it will be a good year and next year I also think it will be good.”

Hungary’s Eva Andreja Hajmasi and Italy’s Loredana Trigilia were the bronze medallists.

Rounding off a great day for Poland was Michal Dabrowski, who stunned Great Britain’s Paralympic bronze medallist and reigning world champion Dimitri Coutya in the final of the men’s epee category B.

Dabrowski beat Coutya for the second time this year, positioning himself once again as a challenger for the world title next month.

After his victory, Dabrowski revealed his tactics are to only go point-by-point: “Be focused, only be focused and see what he is doing in the moment. I want only one point.”

Brazil’s London 2012 Paralympic champion and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist, Jovane Guissone, returned to the World Cup podium for the first time since January with bronze.

France’s Peter Yohan rounded off proceedings with his second bronze of 2023.

The fifth and penultimate World Cup of 2023 runs from 2-5 September in Busan.

Monday (4 September) will feature the men’s foil and women’s epee category A and B ahead of the team events which conclude competition on Tuesday.

Athletes are competing with just one month until the 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Championships get underway in Terni, Italy, from 2-8 October.