Wednesday, September 5, 2012

London, England— Marta Makowska of Poland narrowly defeated Jingjing Zhou of China with a score of 15 to 14 in the women’s individual foil category B bronze medal bout Tuesday night at London’s ExCeL North Arena 2. This was amongst the first wheelchair fencing medal matches of the games.

The match was last of the four concurrent wheelchair fencing medals decided, with the crowd shouting in support of the Makowska fencer after the previous matches were concluded. Zhou had limited crowd support, with only one large Chinese flag visible in the spectator area. Makowska’s win came in a very closely-contested match; The score was first tied on eleven points, and again on 12, 13, and 14 points before the Pole finally won.

Following the match, Makowska raised her hands above her head in celebration before her coach ran up and gave the fencer a hug.

At the London Games, Paralympic wheelchair fencing features five medal events for women and seven for men, involving several weapons including the foil, epee and sabre. Wheelchairs used in competition are held in place using medal plates, with the fencer with shorter reach choosing the distance between the chairs. B-classified wheelchair fencers have, according to the International Paralympic Committee, “fair sitting balance and their fencing arm not or only minimally affected.”

London Paralympic fencing ends Saturday with medal bouts every day until then.