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Team USA Opens Wheelchair Fencing at Rio Paralympic Games on Monday

09/11/2016, 10:45am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Team USA's Lauryn DeLuca and Joey Brinson with Team Leader Ginny Boydston. Photo Credit: Ginny Boydston

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Four years of training for the pinnacle of competition will come to a head on Monday when the wheelchair fencing competition begins at the Rio Paralympic Games.

Team USA’s two fencers will compete on back-to-back days with two-time Paralympian Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss.) and 17-year-old first-time team member Lauryn DeLuca (Parma, Ohio)

Brinson will fence first, competing in the Category B men’s saber on Monday.

Unlike the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games begin with a round of pools for each event that cuts the field down to just eight fencers.

All four of Brinson’s opponents are returning Paralympic medalists, including the three podium finishers from the London Games. While Brinson did not medal in London, he fell one bout shy of the medal stand at the 2013 Wheelchair World Championships.

Brinson will fence World No. 3 Alessio Sarri (ITA), the 2012 Paralympic bronze medalist and 2013 Wheelchair World Champion, in the first bout, followed by No. 2 Anton Datsko (UKR) in the second. A dual weapon athlete, Datsko won silver in London in foil, but also took World titles in both weapons in 2011. Brinson’s next bout will pit him against Marc Andre Cratere (FRA) – the 2012 Paralympic silver medalist – before he closes the round with a final bout against 2012 Paralympic Champion and 2015 Wheelchair World silver medalist Grzegorz Pluta (POL).

DeLuca, a top-eight finisher at the 2015 Junior Worlds, will fence on this stage for the first time in Rio where she will compete in the Category A women’s epee event on Tuesday. A former qualifier for the Y14 National Championships as an able-bodied fencer, DeLuca had been fencing in a wheelchair for just three years before winning the Wheelchair Pan American Championships to qualify for Rio in May.

DeLuca’s will open against Aliona Halkina (BLR) in her pool and will take on World No. 3 Xufeng Zou (CHN). Zou will be competing at her first Paralympic Games, but has rapidly become a star of her team, taking two Wheelchair World golds in 2015 with titles in both epee and saber.

DeLuca’s final three bouts will be against Europeans as she fences two-time World Cup medalist Gemma Collis (GBR) and seven-time Paralympic medalist Zsuzsanna Krajnyak (HUN) with a final bout against 2010 Wheelchair World team epee silver medalist Renata Burdon (POL).

All rounds will be streamed live at http://www.teamusa.org/Rio-2016-Paralympic-Games/Paralympic-Live-Stream-Landing/Paralympic-Video/2016/08/14/Wheelchair-Fencing--2016-Paralympic-Games.

Click here to view the complete schedule and live results. 

Competition schedule is as follows for Brinson and DeLuca’s days of competition (all times Eastern):

Monday, September 11
8 a.m.
Category B Men’s Saber Pools

9:30 a.m.
Category A Men’s Saber Pools

11:25 a.m.
Category B Men’s Saber Quarter-finals
Category A Men’s Saber Quarter-finals

1:15 p.m.
Category B Men’s Saber Semifinals

1:40 p.m.
Category A Men’s Saber Semifinals

2:05 p.m.
Category B Men’s Saber Bronze Medal Final

2:30 p.m.
Category A Men’s Saber Bronze Medal Final

2:55 p.m.
Category B Men’s Saber Gold Medal Final

3:20 p.m.
Category A Men’s Saber Gold Medal Final

Tuesday, September 12
8 a.m.
Category A Men’s Epee Pools
Category B Men’s Epee Pools
Category A Women’s Epee Pools
Category B Women’s Epee Pools

10:25 a.m.
Category A Men’s Epee Quarter-finals
Category B Men’s Epee Quarter-finals

11 a.m.
Category A Women’s Epee Quarter-finals
Category B Women’s Epee Quarter-finals

1 p.m.
Category B Men’s Epee Semifinals
Category B Women’s Epee Semifinals

1:30 p.m.
Category A Men’s Epee Semifinals
Category A Women’s Epee Semifinals

2 p.m.
Category B Men’s Epee Bronze Medal Final
Category B Women’s Epee Bronze Medal Final

2:30 p.m.
Category A Men’s Epee Bronze Medal Final
Category A Women’s Epee Bronze Medal Final

3 p.m.
Category B Women’s Epee Gold Medal Final

3:30 p.m.
Category A Women’s Epee Gold Medal Final

4:17 p.m.
Category B Men’s Epee Gold Medal Final

4:47 p.m.
Category A Men’s Epee Gold Medal Final


Joey Brinson. Photo Credit: U.S. Olympic Committee


Lauryn DeLuca. Photo Credit: U.S. Olympic Committee

Tag(s): News Archive  Joseph Brinson  Latest News  Rio 2016