Ukraine, Poland take European team titles in Paris


The action at the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing European Championships continued on Wednesday (6 March) with the first team titles awarded in Paris, France.

Ukraine overcame the French team to take gold in the men’s sabre, on an action-packed and energy-filled day at the Georges Carpentier Halle that saw spectators pouring in.

France’s Ludovic Lemoine, Maxime Valet Moez El Assine and Serge Robin were fighting closely with Ukraine’s Artem Manko, Andrii Demchuk and Dmytro Serozhenko, exchanging touches.

Demchuk handed over to Serozhenko with a one-point lead in the sixth round. But Valet gave the French their own narrow advantage. Manko then took over from Demchuk, managing to take Ukraine to the final match with a larger cushion of four.

Demchuk – the silver medallist from the individual event the previous day – then landed the decisive blows against Robin. The final score was 45-39.

Manko said: “I hope that it is a quick preview of Paris. It’s really sad we don’t have the sabre team events in Paris. I hope we will have that for the next time. I am really happy that we got this medal, it’s really a breakfast before the main dish. We hope that it will help us to win the medals [in Paris] for ourselves [as individuals] as well.”

Edoardo Giordan, Gianmarco Paolucci and Matteo Dei Rossi beat Germany to bronze.

In the women’s epee team, Poland retained their title from 2022 against France.

Brianna Vide, Clemence Delavoipiere and Cecile Demaude proved no match for the Kinga Drozdz, Marta Fidrych and Karolina Strawinska.

Fidrych was already riding high after claiming bronze in the individual on Tuesday, and ploughed that energy into her team.

Delavoipiere did manage to bring France to within three points of Poland at one point but they stretched away in the last three rounds to end the match with a 45-39 victory.

Ukraine got their second medal of the day with bronze courtesy of Nataliia Mandryk, Yevheniia Breus – the new European champion – and Olga Yesina.

The Paris 2024 European Championships continue on Thursday (7 March) with the men’s foil category A, B and C and the women’s sabre category A and B.