27 August 2021

Coutya bounces back from semi-final heartbreak to take third wheelchair fencing bronze

Dimitri Coutya won his third wheelchair fencing bronze of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after narrowly missing a chance for gold in the men’s foil individual category B event.

Coutya had previously won bronze in the individual epee discipline, as well as in the team equivalent alongside ParalympicsGB teammates Piers Gilliver and Oliver Lam-Watson.

The 23-year-old dominated Russian Paralympic Committee fencer Albert Kamalov with a 15-2 win in the foil B class bronze medal bout on Saturday, shortly after agonisingly missing out on the chance to battle for gold.

The semi-final saw Coutya brilliantly come from 14-10 behind to level the bout at 14-14, only to be defeated 15-14 in what was essentially a sudden death scenario by China’s Feng Yanke, who won gold in Rio and went on to make it a double in Tokyo.

Dimitri Coutya now has three bronze medals form Tokyo 2020

Coutya said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

Coutya made his Paralympic debut five years ago in Rio, where he progressed to the quarter-final stages in both the category B foil and epee events but has been able to come away with three bronzes this time around.

Dimitri Coutya combined with Piers Gilliver and OIiver Lam-Watson for team epee bronze earlier this week

Elsewhere, his epee bronze medal teammate Gilliver won gold in the individual epee A class to become the first British Paralympic champion in the sport since Carol Walton in 1988.

Coutya added: “Rio was a personal disappointment to me so to be able to see my improvements in my fencing is satisfying.

“Watching Piers [Gilliver] make history was amazing. It is testament to all the team at GB Fencing at how far we have come to have picked up four medals.

“Oliver [Lam-Watson] has put in such a great professional performance too and we will need to take some time out to digest it all and come back stronger for Paris.”

The trio will now hope to continue their medal streak in the men’s team foil event on Sunday.

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