Coutya seals second world title as Gilliver wins bronze
Dimitri Coutya has waited many a year for his first World Championship title and then two came along at once.
There’s little imagining the wheelchair fencer has ever had a better 24 hours – crowned foil world champion on Tuesday before adding the epee crown to his ever-growing haul on Wednesday.
And there’s no doubt the 19-year-old’s success the previous night boosted him in his second event, easing through the group stage to qualify for the direct elimination ranked second – a bye to the last-16 his prize.
From there, Coutya’s dominance prevailed, recording a 15-8 victory over Korea’s Kim Gi Hong to find himself within one win of a guaranteed medal.
But Coutya – who made his Paralympic debut in Rio last year - was not about to settle for the bronze that a 15-6 triumph over Brazil’s Jovane Guissone in the last-eight secured.
In the semi-finals, third seed Ammar Ali of Iraq was Coutya’s opponent on the piste and it proved to be one of his most difficult contest.
This was Coutya’s moment to shine, however, eventually clinching a 15-12 victory to progress to the gold medal match.
There, he came up against Italy’s Alessio Sarri, and, tied at 14-14, it was Coutya who sealed the epee title – releasing a huge roar after his winning point.
But Coutya’s success wasn’t Great Britain’s only of the day, as Rio 2016 silver medallist Piers Gilliver secured sabre bronze.
It was a feat made all the more remarkable given this is the 23-year-old’s first season as a sabreur – and he certainly impressed.
Gilliver eased through to the last 16 of direct elimination with a 15-4 victory over Chaichan Jongjairak of Thailand, before progressing further with a 15-9 triumph against Poland’s Rafal Ziomek.
He narrowly edged through to the semi-finals with a 15-14 win over Ukraine’s second seeded Andrii Demchuk, but his sabre journey was to end in the last four, missing out on an opportunity for gold by going down 15-9 to Maxim Shaburov of Russia.
But his defeat didn’t mean he was leaving empty-handed, bronze secured with another medal potentially on the cards.
On Thursday, Gilliver will compete in the men’s Cat A epee, the event in which he won world silver two years ago.
Two-time Paralympian Gemma Collis-McCann was again in action in Rome, progressing to the direct elimination rounds of the women’s Cat A foil before defeating Israel’s Linor Kelman in the last 32.
But her competition was to end in the last 16, edged out 15-9 by Ukraine’s Nataliia Morkvych.