Tokyo 2020: Wheelchair fencer Dimitri Coutya recovers from narrowest of semi-final defeats to win third bronze of Paralympic Games

28 August 2021

University of Bath-based wheelchair fencer Dimitri Coutya won his third bronze medal in as many days at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after bouncing back brilliantly from the narrowest of semi-final defeats in the Category B foil competition.

Coutya fought back from 14-10 down during an epic semi-final to set up a winner-takes-all point against China’s Yanke Feng but it was the defending champion who landed the crucial hit to settle a contest that lasted more than 25 minutes.

There was just 30 minutes for Coutya to recover before the bronze-medal match but he refocussed superbly and quickly won the first 11 points on his way to a 15-2 victory over Albert Kamalov of the Russian Paralympic Committee.

Dimitri Coutya with his foil bronze medal. CREDIT: imagecomms

Coutya, who is part of the EIS World-Class Wheelchair Fencing Programme based at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, had earlier won five of his six preliminary pool bouts, the only defeat again coming against Feng, before beating France’s Maxime Valet 15-8 in the quarter-finals.

“I will have to take some time later to get over today’s disappointment of not making the final but I am proud that I was able to push through and ensure I won the bronze,” said Coutya.

“I didn’t really have time to process the semi-final as I had to go pretty much straight back into the call-room for the bronze-medal match.

“It has been incredible to be here. The Paralympic Games is incredible; it can be a bit overwhelming so I am really proud of myself and my team for preparing us so well to ensure we take all the positives out of the experience without being overwhelmed.”

Michael Taylor crosses the finish line on his Paralympics debut. PICTURES: imagecomms

Bronze added to the third-placed finishes for Coutya in the Category B epee on Thursday and the men’s team epee with Piers Gilliver and Oliver Lam-Watson on Friday. The trio, coached by Peter Rome, are in action again on Sunday when the Paralympic wheelchair fencing competition concludes with the men’s team foil.

Day one of the paratriathlon saw Michael Taylor, who is coached by Rhys Davey at the University-based British Triathlon Bath National Performance Centre, finish eighth in the men’s PTS4 final on his Paralympic debut.

In hot and humid conditions, Taylor recorded the second fastest swim time and was fifth at the transition from the bike to the run before crossing the line in 1:08.11.

Taylor said: “It’s been an incredible opportunity and I’d like to thank British Triathlon, National Lottery, all the performance centres in Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Loughborough and my friends and family as their support over the season has been amazing.”

Eight sportspeople who train at the University of Bath are representing ParalympicsGB at Tokyo 2020. Click here to see who is competing and when.

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