Warsaw 2024: Last stop on road to Paralympics

03/07/2024

More than 120 athletes from 20 countries are gathering in Warsaw, Poland, for the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup which gets underway on Thursday (4 July), and is the last stop ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Despite the competition taking place outside of the qualification period, the world’s best wheelchair fencers will still […]

More than 120 athletes from 20 countries are gathering in Warsaw, Poland, for the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup which gets underway on Thursday (4 July), and is the last stop ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Despite the competition taking place outside of the qualification period, the world’s best wheelchair fencers will still take the chance to put the finishing touches to their preparations for the Paralympics.

As usual a raft of top ranked fencers will compete, including Poland’s top medal hopes for the big summer ahead.

Warsaw 2024 will be shown live at wheelchair-fencing.org between 4-7 July, followed by the 2024 Category C World Championships and 2024 Team Sabre World Championships on 7-8 July.

Poland’s King Drozdz is the world No.1 in the women’s sabre category A. The 29-year-old enjoyed a similar status heading into her first Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Four years later Drozdz will be hoping that with that experience under her belt she can land on the podium in both at home and abroad.

Warsaw 2024 will be a good chance to test herself against other top ranked fencers. These include Georgia’s Nina Tibilashvili, the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist, Ukrainian bronze medallist Yevheniia Breus and Hungary’s Eva Andreja Hajmasi as the world No.3.

All three women landed on the podium at the European Championships earlier this year with Drozdz topping the podium.

Drozdz’s teammate Marta Fidrych has delivered a great run of form over the last three seasons, securing her status as the top seed in the women’s epee category A.

This event will also be filled to the brim with quality in Warsaw. South Korea’s Hyo Kyeong Kwon, 23, has emerged as a new threat and is currently the world No.2 and the reigning Asian and under 23s world champion.

Great Britain’s Gemma Collis is riding high in the world rankings thanks to World Cup podium finishes and her first European medal. Paralympic champion Amarilla Veres of Hungary can also never be discounted.

In the team events the Polish women are the top ranked in the epee, winning their second consecutive European title in March.

Elsewhere in the women’s competition we will see the return of fan favourite and double women’s foil category B Paralympic champion Beatrice (Bebe) Vio Grandis.

Rounding off a trio of Polish individual top seeds is Adrian Castro in the men’s sabre category B.

The 34-year-old is one of the most experienced members of the national team and is heading for his fourth Paralympics in Paris as the silver medallist from Tokyo 2020.

Paris 2024 could play witness to one of the most compelling competitions if both Castro and France’s World No.2 Maxime Valet pull off the form they seem capable of.

The pair last faced each other in early 2023, with Castro emerging the victor, but keep an eye out for a potential clash in Warsaw that could ignite the pistes.

Michal Dabrowski rounds off the hosts top medal hopes in the men’s epee category B. But he will have to get past Great Britain’s Paralympic bronze and Worlds silver medallist Dimitri Coutya as well as Brazil’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Jovane Guissone.

The men’s category C epee and foil competition will also feature the likes of Ukraine’s Serhii Shavkun and Dimitrijs Valainis, the respective top two ranked fencers in the world.

The Warsaw 2024 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup runs from 4-7 July and will be followed by the 2024 Category C World Championships and 2024 Team Sabre World Championships on 7-8 July.

Competition will get underway on Thursday with the men’s epee category A, B and C and the women’s sabre category A and B.