Ukraine, Hungary, secure historic European team titles in Paris

10/03/2024

Ukraine and Hungary made history on the final day of competition at the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing European Championships in Paris, France, on Sunday, grabbing titles in the men’s epee and women’s foil respectively. Andrii Demchuk played a vital role in Ukraine becoming European champions in the men’s epee team for the very first time. Demchuk […]

Ukraine and Hungary made history on the final day of competition at the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing European Championships in Paris, France, on Sunday, grabbing titles in the men’s epee and women’s foil respectively.

Andrii Demchuk played a vital role in Ukraine becoming European champions in the men’s epee team for the very first time.

Demchuk was swapped in for Artem Manko in the penultimate round as Ukraine tried to extend a narrow two-point lead. Taking on Emanuele Lambertini, Demchuk managed to add five hits to his team’s score as the Italian could only land one.

All that individual silver medallist Oleksii Zakusylov had to do what keep calm in the last match against Matteo Dei Rossi. Thankfully for Ukraine that is exactly what Zakusylov did. Dei Rossi put in a good shift but Ukraine left the victors 45-38.

Anton Datsko also helped his team to the gold whilst Michele Massa and Edoardo Giordan joined their Italian teammates with the silver medal.

“We are excited about that, it’s a big step up for us,” Manko said. “We thought that may be it was a good idea to give Andrii a try and he handled it really, really well.”

Defending champions and Paralympic bronze medallists Great Britain had to settle for bronze after losing out to Ukraine in the semi-finals.

Individual champion from the category B Dimitri Coutya, Josh Waddell and Oliver Lam-Watson were back to winning form against France, 45-36.

In the women’s foil team, Hungary topped the podium for the first time since 2016 – and third overall – reclaiming their title against Ukraine.

Both teams had an immense amount of quality to draw from with medallists from the individual events taking to the pistes as a collective.

Nadiia Doloh, the champion from the category B, and Nataliia Morkvych, the bronze medallist from the category A, joined forces with Nataliia Mandryk for Ukraine.

Hungary meanwhile benefitted from the new European title holder in the category A – Eva Andreja Hajmasi and silver medallist from the category B, Boglarka Mezo, as well as Nataliia Mandryk.

Hungary were the dominant force throughout the match, winning six of their nine ties.

Georgia beat Italy 45-32 in the bronze medal match. Gvantsa Zadishvili, Nina Tibilashvili and Irma Khetsuriani, the individual bronze medallist from the category B, stood on the podium.

The 2024 Wheelchair Fencing European Championships took place from 5-10 March and featured individual and team events in the men’s and women’s epee, foil and sabre category A, B and C.

More than 100 fencers from 15 countries have competed for titles as well as world ranking points which go towards qualification for the Paralympic Games in Paris this summer.

Next up will be the 2024 Under 17s and Under 23s World Championships from 21-23 April, followed by the Asian Championships from 24-28 April – both in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

The Asian Championships will also offer points for Paris 2024.