#Tokyo2020: Five things we learned about wheelchair fencing
Each day at wheelchair fencing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games was action packed as fencers finally got the chance to show their skills.
Here are the biggest takeaways.
China continue to hoover-up the medals
China are still the dominant force with 20 podiums picked up in Tokyo to top the table in wheelchair fencing.
This is the highest number the country have collected at any Paralympics so far and includes an astounding 11 gold medals.
China grabbed historic golds in the women’s sabre as the weapon was included on the programme for the first time.
Jing Bian and Shumei Tan took the victory in the category A and B, respectively.
Great Britain have firmly established themselves on the map as they become the most improved team since Rio 2016. They converted their one medal from Rio into two team and three individual medals in Tokyo.
Piers Gilliver overcame defending champion Sun Gang on his way to the men’s epee category A final, breaking the Chinese dominance, before going on to claim the gold.
Dimitri Coutya took bronze in both the men’s epee and foil category B. Medals also came for the Brits in the team epee and foil.
An unstoppable force
Despite being hospitalised two months before the Paralympics, Italian icon Beatrice Vio battled through the field to retain her women’s foil category B title.
A rematch against China’s Jingjing Zhou, who she had faced for gold at Rio 2016, saw Vio emerge victorious once again.
Variety is the spice of life
Fencers showed how both youth and experience is the perfect recipe for an incredible competition.
It was an entirely new Paralympic podium in the women’s foil category A with athletes collecting their first medals in the weapon. China’s Haiyan Gu took gold, Ukrainian Natalia Morkvych took silver, and Gu’s teammate Jing Rong took bronze.
Georgia’s Nino Tibilashvili displayed the great progress made in Georgia in recent years, picking up her country’s first ever wheelchair fencing medal as she secured the silver in women’s epee category A.
The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) had experience and Paralympic debutants on their side to help secure second place in the wheelchair fencing medal table with two golds, two silvers and three bronze medals across the five days of competition.
Brazil’s London 2012 Paralympic champion Jovane Guissone returned to the men’s epee category B podium after nearly 10 years away. Having missed out on a medal at his home Games in 2016, Guissone gained redemption to grab silver.
And Hungary’s Andrea Hajmasi put 18 points past RPC’s Irina Mishurova in the women’s team foil competition to help teammate Zsuzsanna Krajnyak find her eleventh medal in seven Paralympic appearances.
Wheelchair fencing proved to be popular around the globe as ten different countries made it onto the medal table. These were: China, the Russian Paralympic Committee, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Ukraine, Brazil, Georgia, Poland, and France.
By Bethany Ashley | For IWAS Wheelchair Fencing