I am pleased to report on a very exciting start to my 2017 Wheelchair fencing season.

Having taken a short break to rest and reflect on my performance at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games where I took Silver in Epee, I was keen to get started again. My first event of the 2017 season took place on 17th-19th, February at the IWASF World cup in Eger, Hungary.

It had been five months since my last competition and so it was encouraging to see that I had not lost any form, taking the bronze medal in my first weapon, Epee and placing 5th in Foil.

It was a quick turn-around and I was off to the next World Cup of the season, being held in Pisa, Italy from 17th-19th March. This was also the event that I had chosen to debut my change of second weapon.

After discussions with my coach Peter Rome, I had decided that I would like to change my second weapon to Sabre, as by the nature of the way the weapon is fenced, it may be better suited to me than Foil.

Although I had previously picked up the Sabre for occasional National Events, I have never had any coaching in the weapon and so in January this year I started to train in Sabre.

I have been really enjoying getting to grips with a new challenge, there are a lot of differences between the weapons. (Sabre has a very different technique as points are score by cutting rather than the thrusting of Epee or Foil).

So, on Friday 17th, I was thrilled to have the best debut that I could possibly have hoped for, beating the current Sabre Paralympic Champion in the Final 15 – 9 to take the Gold medal.

Piers Gilliver Gradwell

I was so pleased with this result and my performance and I’m really looking forward to continuing to work on and develop my skills in this weapon.

On Sunday 19th I competed in my first weapon, Epee and can report an equally successful day.

Having won all of my Poule Matches, I went through to the Direct Elimination Round ranked No1 which gave me a Bye through to the next rounds. Here I met and defeated Colaco BRA, 15-1 to take me through to face seasoned Paralympian Citerne FRA. This match was a lot tighter, going point for point until I was able to take the lead, eventually winning 15- 10.

In the semi-finals, I defeated Pender POL 15 -1, taking me through to the Final where I met Betti ITA. I am thrilled and somewhat relieved to report that I beat him on his home turf 15 -3 to take my second Gold medal of the tournament.

Piers Gilliver Gradwell

So, with the fantastic result of double World Cup Gold under my belt so early in the season, I’m in a great place to start the next four-year cycle with the end goal being Paralympic Gold at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Thank you for reading my update, and I’d like to thank you all for your support.


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