On top of the world and now off to Rio – Piers Gilliver’s ParalympicsGB place confirmed

05 July 2016

Piers Gilliver – the world’s number-one ranked wheelchair fencer – today became the latest University of Bath-based athlete to be selected for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed tremendous success during the past two years, winning nine medals in 12 international competitions – including three back-to-back World Cup titles – to comfortably finish top of the epee qualifying rankings.

“I am so happy to be part of the ParalympicsGB team for Rio 2016,” said Gilliver, who is joined in the wheelchair fencing squad by Dimitri Coutya.

“Many years of hard work has gone towards achieving this goal and I’m pleased that all the hours of training have paid off.

“I’m going to make every second count before I head out to compete in Rio as it’s going to be the biggest competition of my career so far. I hope the nation will supercharge the team to personal best performances – their support will make all the difference.”

Gilliver, whose lead coach is Peter Rome, started training full-time at the Sports Training Village in April 2015 after receiving funding from UK Sport’s World Class Programme.

201600610 Copyright onEdition 2016 © Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition Fencers Dimitri Coutya and Piers Gilliver , who will compete for ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016 with ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe. ParalympicsGB is the name for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team that competes at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. The Team is selected and managed by the British Paralympic Association, in conjunction with the national governing bodies, and is made up of the best sportsmen and women who compete in the 22 summer and 4 winter sports on the Paralympic Programme. Media enquiries for ParalympicsGB should be addressed to the ParalympicsGB Press Office T: 07717 587 055 E: press@paralympics.org.uk If you require require a higher resolution image or you have any other onEdition photographic enquiries, please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com This image is copyright onEdition 2016©. This image has been supplied by onEdition and must be credited onEdition. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not granted or implied. Changing or deleting Copyright information is illegal as specified in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. If you are in any way unsure of your right to publish this image please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com
Fencers Dimitri Coutya and Piers Gilliver with ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe. PICTURES: onEdition

He has sparring sessions with Bath Sword Club and also trains with the Pentathlon GB athletes as they prepare for this summer’s Olympic Games.

“I definitely feel I am learning a lot from them,” Gilliver added. “It’s great sparring but it’s also a great atmosphere being part of this elite group. We are all working together towards the same goal – that gold medal in Rio.”

Gilliver, from the Forest of Dean, is the second University-based sportsman to be officially selected by ParalympicsGB for this summer’s Games and joins athletics World Champion Paul Blake, coached by Rob Ellchuk, in the Rio squad.

Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport at the University of Bath, said: “Congratulations to Piers on this fantastic achievement. He has been top of the world rankings throughout his time here, so it is great he can finally say he has been officially selected.

“Piers has quickly become a popular member of the Team Bath family and we will all be cheering him on as he goes for gold in Rio.”

University of Bath graduates Alexandra Rickham and Louise Hunt have been selected for the Rio Paralympic Games in sailing and wheelchair tennis respectively.

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