Pisa 2019 World Cup: Chinese fencers on top
Chinese fencers displayed a dominant show to top the medals table at the 2019 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup that concluded last week in Pisa, Italy.
The East Asian nation returned home with four individual golds out of the 12 on offer, with two finals being an all-Chinese battle, making a statement ahead of September’s World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea.
The 2018 Asian Para Games champion Hu Daoliang made it two-for-two in World Cup action this season when he defeated compatriot Feng Yanke for the men’s foil B top prize. The duo is expected to fight it out for the top spot in the season ahead as well – the two have also met at the Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medal match that was won by Feng.
In the men’s foil A final, promising Zhong Sai Chun proved that he is the new star in the Chinese contingent. The 25-year-old showed promise ahead of his Worlds debut by defeating the experienced Sun Gang, gold medallist at the 2018 Asian Para Games and a Rio 2016 Paralympic medallist.
Paralympic silver medallist Bian Jing took down Hungary’s Amarilla Veres in the women’ s epee A event. The victory made up for her runner-up result at February’s World Games in Sharjah, UAE, which also acted as a World Cup.
Meanwhile, three-time Rio 2016 champion and 2016 Asian Awardee for Best Female Athlete Rong Jing was back to her winning ways ending a long title drought with her first victory of 2019. This was also her first major gold since Rio, as she won the women’s foil A ahead of Hungary’s Eva Andrea Hajmasi.
However, in the women’s foil B, Xiao Rong was downed by the home crowd favourite, reigning Paralympic and world champion Beatrice Vio 5-15 to the joy of the Pisa crowd.
In the women’s sabre B, China’s Ao Lanzhu had to settle for the second place going down to Georgia’s Irma Khetsuriani, while Thailand’s Saysunee Jana overcame Russia’s Viktoria Boykova to win the women’s epee B gold.
The competition was the second World Cup of 2019 and the latest stop on the road to the 2019 World Championships set for 17-23 September, 2019. It also served as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.