Silver for Gilliver at Wheelchair Fencing World Championships
Paralympic silver medallist Piers Gilliver showed his Rio success was no one-off as he continued Great Britain’s success at the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships with another runners-up spot.
When Gilliver won Great Britain’s first wheelchair fencing Paralympic medal for over two decades four days before his 22nd birthday, at Rio 2016, the future of the sport looked bright.
Fourteen months on and he confirmed that suspicion by adding world silver to teenager Dimitri Coutya’s double gold, and the bronze he himself won on Wednesday.
After battling to third place in the sabre – in his first season as a sabreur – Gilliver was on top form all the way to the Category A epee competition – not letting any of his direct elimination opponents score more than six points.
But the epee world number one, who won World Cup gold in the Netherlands in May, could not continue his form into the final and suffered a narrow 15-12 defeat to Russia’s Maxim Shaburov, ranked one place below him in the world.
Gilliver’s two medals mean Great Britain sits third in the medal overall table, with Coutya’s two golds taking the nation’s tally to four.
Adding to the world silver he won in 2015, Gilliver can certainly be proud of a successful Championships, after he advanced to the direct elimination rounds ranked as the number one, earning him a bye in the round of 64.
The University of Bath-based wheelchair fencer then defeated Spain’s Tarek Nejjar 15-3 and 56-year-old four-time Paralympic champion Robert Citerne 15-6, to reach the quarter-final.
There he faced another Paralympic gold medallist, Poland’s Dariusz Pender, but Gilliver still secured a 15-4 victory with relative ease before beating Artur Yusupov 15-4 in the semi-final and guarantee his second medal of the Championships.