One year to go – wheelchair fencers Dimitri Coutya and Piers Gilliver look ahead to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
With exactly one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games begin, Team Bath TV caught up with University of Bath-based wheelchair fencers Piers Gilliver and Dimitri Coutya to see how their preparations are going.
Both are on course to qualify for their second Paralympic Games after winning a host of gold medals on the international stage during the past two seasons, ranking them as the world’s number one epee fencers in Category A and B respectively.
Reigning World Champion Coutya is also top of the Category B foil rankings, while Gilliver – whose epee silver at Rio 2016 was Britain’s first wheelchair fencing medal in 24 years – is ranked second in the Category A sabre, an event he has been developing during this Paralympiad.
They are currently training towards the 2019 IWASF World Championships in South Korea, taking place from September 24-30, but admitted that it is hard to completely shut out thoughts of Tokyo 2020…
Coutya and Gilliver are coached by Peter Rome in the fencing salle at the University’s Sports Training Village. The Wheelchair Fencing World Class Programme is managed by the EiS (English Institute of Sport), which has a high-performance centre at the University.
Other sportspeople who train at the University and are targeting Tokyo 2020 include Stephanie Millward and Paul Blake, who won gold in swimming and athletics respectively at Rio 2016, and World Champion Sophie Kamlish, a training partner of Blake under the guidance of coach Rob Ellchuk.