Kwon delivers perfect performance for hosts at World Cup
Hyo Kyeong Kwon delivered the perfect end to the individual competitions for the hosts at the 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Busan, South Korea, on Monday (4 September) triumphing in the women’s epee category A.
The Koreans celebrated a double podium in the event as Kwon faced teammate Sunmi Kim in the golden face-off.
Kwon was the stronger fencer on the day, adding to her under 23s world title from a week ago, and showing why the 22-year-old is also a face to watch at the senior level.
“I am so happy I can win another medal from this competition,” Kwon said. “I was lucky to have this competition in Busan as if it was in another country I would be jetlagged and not in my best condition.”
Compatriot Kim’s silver medal was her first medal at this level in three years.
Gemma Collis of Great Britain, the world No.2, lost out to Kwon in the semi-final and took bronze. France’s Brianna Vide, another youngster at the age of 23, secured the second bronze.
All competitions can be watched live and on-demand at wheelchair fencing’s website.
Hungarian European champion and Paralympic silver medallist Richard Osvath dominated in the men’s foil category A, winning his first World Cup gold of the season.
Facing Italy’s Matteo Betti, who had emerged the victor from a thrilling semi-final against Germany’s Julius Haupt, Osvath turned on the style in his favourite weapon.
Haupt – who won the under 23s world title earlier in the week in Busan – settled for bronze. However despite missing the final, Haupt can be pleased with his first podium finish of the year. It comes in the month before the senior World Championships.
Turkey’s Hakan Akkaya will also be pleased with his maiden top three finish in the foil, standing alongside Haupt with bronze.
Great Britain’s European champion and Paralympic bronze medallist Dimitri Coutya will leave Busan with two individual golds in his suitcase after claiming victory in the men’s foil category B.
He took on France’s Maxime Valet in the final. Valet was a worthy opponent but could not live with the British fencer on the day, losing 15-7.
After the match it was suggested to the top seed that he had a straightforward day.
“I wouldn’t say it’s easy. Even though the foil is my strongest weapon I do a lot of work to ensure I am prepared as possible for a full day of fencing no matter what the weapon is,” Coutya said. “Especially the foil, I had to bring my A-game, I fenced a lot of great people especially in the final and I’m happy it paid off today.”
Japan’s Akiro Tsunoda celebrated his first World Cup podium finish with bronze. Ukraine’s Dmytro Serozhenko grabbed the other third place for his maiden medal in the foil.
Thailand’s Paralympic silver medallist Saysunee Jana looks in great form to reclaim her world title in the women’s epee category B.
Her win against South Korea’s Eun Hye Cho on Monday brings her golden total to four for 2023 and she remains unbeaten since 2019.
Jana was last the world champion in 2015, winning silver in 2017 and finishing sixth in 2019.
Cho’s silver adds to a great haul for the hosts who have impressed with multiple podiums this week.
Hong Kong’s Nga Ting Tong and Japan’s Anri Sakurai were the bronze medallists.
Sakurai’s third place is her second of the competition and follows on from the foil.
The fifth and penultimate World Cup of 2023 runs from 2-5 September in Busan.
Competition will conclude on Tuesday with the men’s foil, women’s epee and mixed sabre team events.
Athletes are competing with just one month until the 2023 Wheelchair Fencing World Championships get underway in Terni, Italy, from 2-8 October.