Delighted Dimitri Coutya retains Wheelchair Fencing World Championships title as Piers Gilliver adds to medal haul

18 September 2019

Dimitri Coutya successfully defended his Category B epee title on another medal-laden day for University of Bath-based wheelchair fencers at the IWAS World Championships in South Korea.

Piers Gilliver also followed up his gold medal on the opening day by winning bronze in the Category A sabre for a second successive worlds.

Coutya narrowly missed out on his retaining his foil crown on Tuesday, having to settle for silver on this occasion, but there was no stopping him in the epee competition.

Victories over Poland’s Grzegorz Pluta and China’s Jie Zhang set up a quarter-final clash with Anton Datsko of Ukraine, which Coutya won 15-10.

He then overcame Andrei Pranevich of Belarus – the reigning Paralympic champion – 15-11 before dominating the final against China’s Daoliang Hu, roaring with delight as he wrapped up a 15-7 success to secure the third world title of his career.

“It feels really fantastic,” said Coutya. “Yesterday I was really disappointed with the final [in the foil] as I felt I could have done much better but then I’m aware of the fact that the athletes I was facing were at the highest standard.

“For me, coming into the sport, Daoliang Hu has been one of the ones to watch over the whole time and one of the most dominant figures, so finally now to be competitive with him in both disciplines is a really incredible feeling, especially over the next year in the build-up to Tokyo.”

Training partner Gilliver, who won Category A epee gold on Tuesday, again impressed in his second weapon and was only denied a place in the sabre final by eventual champion Jianquan Tian of China, who won 15-9 in the last four.

Gilliver had earlier conceded just 12 hits during his knockout victories over Canada’s Matthieu Hebert, Russia’s Maxim Shaburov and Ukraine’s Artem Manko.

The results also helped Coutya and Gilliver take a massive step closer to securing their qualification places for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

They 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. Click here to find out more.

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