Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
Asian Nations: Wheelchair Fencing and Equestrian previews
Wheelchair Fencing: Chinese fencers to dominate
One of the growing sports on the continent of Asia, Wheelchair Fencing will take place over five days at Makuhari Messe Hall from August 25, 2021.
While China is expected to dominate most of the competition, fencers from Hong Kong, Iraq and Thailand will be out to make big steps to the podium. Host nation Japan will also be eager to pick up medals in the sport.
An all-Chinese faceoff is expected between multiple-time Paralympic and Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games champions Sun Gang, Tian Jianquan and six-time Paralympic champion Ye Ruyi in the Men’s epee, foil and sabre Category A events, while Iraq’s Ammar Ali, a silver medallist at Rio 2016, will be ready to spoil China’s run in the Category B events.
Paralympic and APG 2018 champions Hu Daoling and Feng Yanke will be the top Chinese medal prospects in the B category.
The sabre A event will have the line-up of London Paralympics medal winners and Hong Kong’s Chan Wing Kin, the third-place finisher at London 2012, will be eager to win a medal of a different colour this time around with China’s Chen Yijun and Jianquan, the gold and silver medallists, also in the running.
In women’s events, Zhou Jingjing and Zhou Xufeng, the Rio 2016 gold medallists and the Asian Para Games 2018 winners, will lead the Chinese brigade in epee and foil Category A competitions but Yu Chui Yee, Hong Kong’s biggest name in the sport with seven Paralympic titles, as well as Thailand’s London 2012 gold medallist Saysunee Jana will be out to stop the Chinese domination.
Both Chui Yee and Jana are Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games gold medallists in individual foil (A) and individual epee (B) women events.
The hosts will also have some presence in both men’s and women events through Asian Para Games medallists Michinobu Fujita and Ryuji Onda (men’s Individual foil and sabre B), Anri Sakurai (women’s individual foil and sabre B events).
Wheelchair Fencing, which was introduced to the world at the 1960 Rome Paralympics, has been gaining popularity in Asia, thanks to the winning performances of fencers from China, Hong Kong and Thailand in the past few years.
Singapore is the only Asian country to have won medals at the Paralympic Games in Equestrian, with all medals being won by Laurentia Tan at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Tan’s medal at Beijing 2008 was the first medal for Singapore at a Paralympic Games and sparked a discussion in Singapore about the recognition given to para-athletes compared to their Olympic counterparts. Tan will again compete in the 1a classification events.
For the host nation, Sho Inaba will make his Paralympic Games debut in Tokyo. Towards the end of 2019 Inaba scored a number of victories at three-star level in Japan’s Gotemba competition, and he managed a top 10 finish at 2018’s World Equestrian Games. He will hope that his performance in his home country can help to leave a lasting legacy for the sport.
Eleven medals will be contested over five days at the Equestrian Park starting on Thursday 26th August.