Victory for Vio at Wheelchair Fencing Grand Prix


Italian Beatrice Vio continues her rapid rise in the sport by taking the category B foil title in Lonato

Beatrice Vio made the most of home advantage at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Grand Prix in Lonato del Garda, Italy last weekend. Italian Vio, 16, beat London 2012 silver medallist Dani Gyongi of Hungary in the final to firmly establish herself as one of the sport’s top performers.

The win is a second title in a row for Vio who also won gold at the Grand Prix event in Montreal, Canada last month. The young star, who is the the only wheelchair fencer in the world with no arms and no legs, only became part of Italy’s team last year but already looks to be firmly on the road to Rio 2016.

In the women’s category A foil event Chui Yee Yu of Hong Kong defeated Zsuzanna Krajnyak of Hungary to take the top prize. Compatriot Wing Kin Chan took the equivalent men’s title with a victory over Artur Yusupov of Russia. Matteo Betti of Italy shared third place with Damien Tokatlian of France.

Ukrainian Anton Datsko continued his dominance in the men’s category B foil discipline with a comfortable win in the final against Russia’s Alexander Kuzyukov. A silver-medal winner at London 2012, Datsko has now won gold with the foil in his past three major events.

Datsko’s impressive form extends to the sabre discipline too, where he picked up another gold medal in Lonato, defeating Adrian Castro of Poland in a closely contested final. Italy’s Alessio Sarri narrowly missed out on a podium place at his home Grand Prix, finshing in fifth place.

In the men’s category A sabre competition Wing Kin Chan of Hong Kong picked up his second medal of the tournament with a final victory over Vadym Tsedrik of Ukraine. Third place was shared by Romain Noble of France, winner of this event in Montreal last month, and fellow countryman Ludovic Lemoine.

There were no surprises in the women’s sabre competition with top seed Albina Kuramshina of Russia taking the top prize ahead of second seed Marta Fidrych of Poland.

In the men’s category A epee event Iraq’s Hasan Zainulabdeen secured an unexpected podium place. The athlete from Iraq was seeded 21st but put in a strong performance to earn a joint third place finish alongside Norbert Calka of Poland. The title went to Artur Yusupov, also of Poland, with the silver medal going to Roman Fedyaev of Russia.

Another athlete from Iraq to take home a medal from Lonato was Ali Amar. Amar comfortably saw off Alexander Kuzyukov of Russia with a 15-1 victory to take the category B epee title. Number one seed Mikalai Bezyazychny from Belarus and London 2012 Paralympic Champion Jovane Silva Guissone of Brazil had to settle for a shared third place.

Simone Briese-Baetke of Germany was victorious in the women’s category B epee event. The London 2012 silver medallist beat Ludmila Vasileva of Russia in the final.

Zsusanna Krajnyak of Hungary showed the winning mentality for which she is renowned as she battled to a 15-13 victory against Evgeniya Sycheva of Russia in the final of the women’s category A epee contest.

Krajnak was also a key member of the Hungarian squad which won the women’s team epee competition with a win over Hong Kong in the final.

It was the Russian contingent that emerged victorious from the men’s team event which was contested with the foil, beating Poland to the title with the Hong Kong side finishing in bronze-medal position.

Those victorious in Lonato will now be looking to maintain their winning ways at the upcoming IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw (4-7 July).


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