12 July 2019
Coutya maintains World Championships focus with Warsaw double
Dimitri Coutya continued to work on his blueprint for world domination with two medals at the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Warsaw.
The 21-year-old is the reigning men’s category B foil and epee world champion following his double success in Rome in 2017 – but his titles will be back up for grabs at the 2019 edition in Cheongju, South Korea, in September.
However, Coutya remained in fearsomely fine fettle by winning foil gold and epee silver in Poland, overcoming China’s Daoliang Hu in the former before narrowly-settling for second place against Ammar Ali, of Iraq, in the latter.
“These opponents have been the big aspirations that I’ve looked to for my whole career pretty much, and it’s been so great to finally beat them and compete with them on an international stage,” said Coutya.
“I really feel like what I’ve been training for has been working.
“This pretty much is the same competition that we’ll be having in September [at the World Championships] and the level of it is so high, and you really can’t afford to let your hair down for a single moment.
“I know now that I can do it and I can compete on the world stage – it’s just a question of how well I can prepare for that, and how well I can execute what I’ve been training.
“It’s going to be difficult but I hope that I can repeat the performance here come September.”
In the foil competition, having humbled both Italy’s Marco Cima and Russian Albert Kamalov 15-7, Coutya sailed into the semi-finals, where he defeated Yanke Feng 15-9.
Another Chinese fencer awaited him in the final and Coutya proved too good once again, beating Hu 15-10 to get his hands on gold.
In the epee, he breezed past Argentinian Hugo Alderete (15-9) and then Ukraine pair Anton Datsko and Oleg Naumenko (both 15-8).
Coutya met Hu again in the semi-finals and triumphed 15-10 but Ali held firm to eke out a 15-14 win in the gold medal match.
Meanwhile, fellow Brit Piers Gilliver stole some of the spotlight as he claimed two bronze medals.
The 24-year-old, who won Paralympic Games silver in the men’s category A epee at Rio 2016, made it to the semi-finals of the sabre before being beaten 15-10 by Hungary’s Richard Osvath, whilst in the epee, he was edged out by a single point (15-14) at the hands of China’s Gang Sun.
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