There was plenty for University of Bath-based wheelchair fencers Piers Gilliver and Dimitri Coutya to celebrate over the weekend at both the World Cup in Poland and the British Fencing Annual Awards Ceremony.
MJ Church ambassador Gilliver won his third Category A epee gold of 2017 at the Warsaw World Cup before being named as Athlete of the Year in the British Fencing Awards following his silver medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Training partner Coutya, competing in Category B, won epee silver and foil bronze in Poland and was named Fencing Personality of the Year at the awards in Nottingham.
Gilliver won four of his poule bouts in Warsaw to earn a bye into the last 32, where he eased to a 15-6 victory over Jae Hoon Sim of South Korea.
That set up a showdown with Gang Sun, the Chinese fencer who beat Gilliver in the Paralympics final, but the Brit came out on top this time with an excellent 15-4 success.
Further victories over Germany’s Maurice Schmidt and Maxim Shaburov of Russia put Gilliver into the final, where he produced another superb display to win 15-4 against London 2012 silver-medallist Romain Noble of France.
Coutya started his busy week in the Category B foil, where he won all of his poule bouts and eased through two knockout rounds before being edged out 15-14 in a hard-fought semi-final against Italy’s Marco Cima.
Attention then turned to the Category B epee where Rio 2016 Paralympian Coutya, who won gold at the previous World Cup in the Netherlands, was again in fine form as he progressed to the final. However, he had to settle for silver on this occasion as Andrei Pranevich of Belarus recorded a 15-11 victory.