Next generation set to line-up in Busan
Young wheelchair fencers from around the globe are set to line up in Busan, South Korea, from Wednesday (30 August) at the 2023 wheelchair fencing Under 23s World Championships.
Some will be competing for the first time whilst others are looking to retain their youth world titles, won in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2022.
Let’s take a look at some of the faces to look out for between 30 August – 1 September. Fans can watch all the action live at wheelchair fencing’s website alongside results.
Anna Nadasdy, Hungary
Nadasdy registered a stunning performance on her international debut in Sao Paulo.
The 18-year-old collected titles in sabre and foil and a bronze in epee, showing the field that she will be one to watch in the coming years.
Just one month after her triple podium, Nadasdy posted some very respectable performances at the European Championships. These included a top 10 finish in foil and a bronze as part of the women’s foil team. Into 2023 her form continued with a seventh-place at the World Cup in Nimes, France.
Felix Schrader, Germany
Even at the tender age of 20 Schrader is already a veteran of youth competitions.
In 2016 he won silver in both the foil and epee in the under 17s at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (now World Abilitysport) Youth Games in Prague, Czech Republic, and bronze in the under 23s.
In 2019 he reached the top of the podium for the first time in the foil under 17s and repeated that performance in 2022 in epee.
At the senior level he has recorded top 10 performances in team events in epee and foil including narrowly missing out on a medal at this year’s World Cup in Pisa, Italy.
Shelby Jensen, USA
Jensen lines-up as one of the most experienced fencers at Busan 2023. Indeed, the 22-year-old is already a Paralympian having competed at Tokyo 2020.
She also has regional medals under her belt. In 2018 Jensen collected Americas silver in the sabre and bronze in the foil, following that up with silver in epee in 2022.
At the youth level, Jensen will be aiming to improve on her bronze from the sabre at what will be her last under 23s World Championships.
Kevin Damasceno, Brazil
At the age of 19, Damasceno is the defending under 23s world champion in the men’s sabre and bronze medallist from the foil.
He is also an Americas Championships silver medallist having reached a top three performance at home in 2022. In addition he grabbed regional team titles with Brazil in the sabre and foil.
Quentin Fernandez-Anssoux, France
Following in the footsteps of some of the world’s best fencers, Fernandez-Anssoux entered international fencing at an exciting time for his country.
France have a rich history of success at all levels in wheelchair fencing, including the Paralympic Games, and in 2024 Paris will host the Paralympics.
Fernandez-Anssoux is determined to claim his own place in the history books, and has made a promising start.
Two individual bronzes in foil and epee at the 2022 under 23s and a top 10 finish at the Sao Paulo World Cup in the same year are his highlights so far. At the age of 19 he has both the time and potential to go much further.
South Korea and Thailand…?
Ahead of the country staging the World Abilitysport Games in December where the last wheelchair fencing World Cup of the year will be staged, Thailand are looking to strengthen their team.
This means there are a slew of new athletes on the entry lists for the under 23s Worlds.
This is also the case for South Korea who are using the opportunity of a home competition.
If new athletes from both countries receive a classification, they could go on to make a big impact.
About Busan 2023
The 2023 Wheelchair Fencing Under 23s World Championships run from 30 August – 1 September.
They will then be followed by the fifth World Cup of the year as athletes continue their quest for world ranking points. These ultimately determine qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
Both competitions are being shown live with expert commentary from Athens 2004 Paralympic champion, Cyril More.