Khetsuriani going for gold at Tbilisi World Cup


Georgia's first female wheelchair fencer is hoping to triumph at her country's first World Cup between 8-11 November,

By Jarral De Matas | For IWAS

Fresh on the heels of her gold medal triumph in the women’s sabre category B at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw, Poland, earlier this year, Georgia’s world champion Irma Khetsuriani is ready for the next challenge.

From 8-11 November the latest World Cup will be held on Khetsuriani’s home soil in Tbilisi.

Arguably the country’s most prominent Para athlete, Khetsuriani will be hoping for a top finish in front of her endearing fans.

Representing Georgia, which will be hosting its inaugural World Cup, Khetsuriani says the pressure is off: “I’m not nervous. It’s more pride for my country as we are organising Wheelchair Fencing World Cup for the first time in Georgia.”

No stranger to the big stage, Khetsuriani knows that expectations will come in the form of a successful competition: “I feel more responsibility than pressure to complete in front of my fans and my friends.”

After her remarkable run in Warsaw which strengthened her position as the world No.1, Khetsuriani is a favourite once again to secure gold in the sabre.

"My main goal for the next World Cup is to win the gold medal in sabre, but the more important is to show the best quality in fencing,” she said.

To ensure this, Khetsuriani will need to improve on her most recent results at the European Champions held in Terni, Italy, in September. The Georgian won a bronze medal.

Khetsuriani is aware of her “nonstable’ results as of late but has resolved to train even harder to meet her goals: “How to come from gold medal to bronze its quite difficult question, but it was good lesson for me. I guess I need more training [and] more practise to improve my abilities.” Included in her six-day training schedule is an emphasis on physical conditioning as well as improving her spinal flexibility.

Overcoming adversity is not new to Khetsuriani. She has lived through a very difficult time in Georgia, during which the 2008 war left her and her family as refugees. Comparing her life to fencing, Khetsuriani knows she has the tools to succeed at both.

The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup will feature some of the world’s best fencers. They will be going for medals and qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

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