Vasileva unseats Vio at wheelchair fencing World Cup


Russian takes her maiden World Cup victory to beat the Italian for the first time in two years.

Russia’s Ludmila Vasileva delivered a shock at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Kyoto, Japan, beating Italian world and Paralympic champion Beatrice Vio in the women’s foil category B.

The win, which took place during the four-day competition from 13-16 December, is the first time Vio has finished off the top spot in two years.

It is also Vasileva’s maiden victory in the foil at an IWAS Wheelchair Fencing competition.

The match-up was a close affair, adding drama with under one year to go until the 2019 World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea. There Vio will try to defend her title which she has held since 2015.

Vasileva’s teammate Irina Mishurova finished third whilst the event also delivered a medal for Japan. Anri Sakurai claimed bronze for the hosts.

In the men’s epee category B another chapter was written in the rivalry between Iraq’s Ammar Ali and British world and European champion Dmitri Coutya.

Ali finished ahead of Coutya at the previous World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia, in November. He repeated the feat in Kyoto with Coutya also landing on the podium in third. Russia’s Alexander Kuzyukov secured silver.

Kuzyukov’s teammates delivered three more golds for their country.

European champion Iuliia Maya chalked her third World Cup win of 2018 in the women’s epee category A. Ukraine’s Yevheniia Breus was second ahead of China’s Jing Rong and Hungary’s Amarilla Veres.

Viktoria Boykova added another gold to Russia’s trophy cabinet in the women’s epee category B. Belarus’ Alesia Makrytskaya settled for silver. France’s Cecile Demaude shared third place with Vasileva.

Mishurova, Boykova, Maya and Alena Evdokimova went on to claim the team epee gold. Hungary’s Veres, Zsuzsanna Krajnyak and Boglarka Melo took silver whilst the Ukrainian team of Tetiana Pozniak, Nataliia Mandryk, Olena Fedota and Breus grabbed bronze.

Chinese fencers matched Russia’s haul with four golds of their own.

Paralympic bronze medallist Jianquan Tian overcame fellow Rio 2016 podium finisher Richard Osvath in the final of the men’s sabre category A.

Russia’s Viktor Dronov and Italy’s Edoardo Giordan rounded off the top three.

In the men’s foil category A, former world champion Gang Sun was back on top. He faced down Italy’s eventual silver medallist Emanuele Lambertini. Osvath sealed his second medal of the competition with bronze as another Chinese fencer, Sai Chun Zhong, also made it onto the podium.

Paralympic title holder Yanke Feng was the victor in the men’s foil category B, beating Poland’s Jacek Gaworski. Coutya made another appearance with bronze alongside Ukraine’s Anton Datsko.

China rounded off their wins with gold in the men’s team foil.

Ruyi Yi, Zhong, Sun and Daoliang Hu proved too tough a match for Russian silver medallists Albert Kamalov, Nikita Nagaev, Roman Fedyaev and Artur Yusopov. Italy secured bronze with Marco Cima, Matteo Betti and Lambertini.

Georgia’s Worlds gold medallist Irma Khetsuriani won an incredible fifth final of the year in the women’s sabre category B. Ukraine’s Olena Fedota claimed silver ahead of Thailand’s Saysunee Jana and Mezo.

Poland’s Grzegorz Pluta crowned a successful 12 months in the men’s sabre category B. The Polish fencer reached his best ever performance at a European Championships with and also won his first World Cup gold. Pluta added a third victory at this level in Kyoto for the year.

Feng left with silver whilst Russian teammates Kamalov and Alexander Kurzin took bronze.

In the women’s sabre category A, Yevheniia Breus was the victor over Hungary’s Eva Hajmasi. Ukraine’s Morykvych and China’s Xiujian Wang grabbed bronze.

Hungary’s world champion and Paralympic bronze medallist Krajnyak regained her winning form in the women’s foil category A.

Krajnyak had experienced a downturn at the last two World Cups but returned to the top spot after a win over China’s Rong. Hajmasi and Italy’s Loredana Trigilia shared third.

Great Britain’s Paralympic and Worlds silver medallist Piers Gilliver emerged the victor in the men’s epee category A. He beat Italy’s Lambertini to first. Poland’s Dariusz Pender and Germany’s Maurice Schmidt completed the top three.

The 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Kyoto was the second to take place within the Tokyo 2020 qualification period.

Full results are available here.

The next World Cup will feature as part of the IWAS World Games in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, from 10-16 February.

The 2019 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships get underway in Cheonju from 24-30 September.