Tokyo 2020: Swimmer Suzanna Hext narrowly misses out on medal as wheelchair fencer Piers Gilliver vows to bounce back from day one setback

25 August 2021

Swimmer Suzanna Hext narrowly missed out on a medal on the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as she finished fourth in the S5 200m freestyle.

Hext, who does her strength and conditioning work at the Team Bath Sports Training Village with English Institute of Sport (EIS) coach Michael Peacock, was in medal contention throughout Wednesday’s final before Italy’s Monica Boggioni came through in the closing stages to take bronze behind China’s Li Zhang and GB’s Tully Kearney.

It was a fine swim by Swindon ASC swimmer Hext, who touched the wall in 2:59.55 – well inside her pre-Games personal best – and will return to the Tokyo Aquatics Centre pool on Thursday for the S5 100m freestyle (heats at 1.13am BST). She will also contest the SB4 100m breaststroke and S5 50m backstroke over the next week.

Free for editorial use image, please credit: imagecomms ParalympicsGB Wheelchair Fencer, Piers Gilliver aged 26, from Forest of Dean, competing in the Individual Sabre A - Men event, at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. 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. For additional Images please visit: For more information please contact the ParalympicsGB Press Office via If you require a higher resolution image or you have any other photographic enquiries, please contact imagecomms on +44 (0)20 7160 6282 or email This image is copyright imagecomms 2021©. This image has been supplied by imagecomms and must be credited imagecomms. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. Rights for onward transmission of this 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 imagecomms on +44 (0)20 7160 6282 or email
Piers Gilliver in action against Hao Li in the Category A sabre competition on the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. CREDIT: imagecomms

The opening day of wheelchair fencing competition saw University-based Piers Gilliver edged out 15-12 in the Round of 16 by eventual gold-medallist Hao Li of China.

“I am very disappointed with today because it was a tough draw in the elimination round after the pool matches didn’t really go as I’d hoped,” admitted Gilliver, who won two and lost two of his Preliminary Pool matches.

“I fought well but just managed to miss out, which is tough to take. Now I must put it behind me and get focused on tomorrow as the epee is my stronger event. I am confident I can put in a good performance.”

Gilliver will be back on the piste on Thursday in the Category A epee, an event in which he is reigning World Champion and won silver at Rio 2016. Training partner and fellow World Champ Dimitri Coutya also begins four successive days of competition in the Category B epee.

Eight Bath-based sportspeople and graduate Stuart Wood are competing at the Paralympic Games. Click here for full details.

Partners and Suppliers