PARALYMPICS / Paralympic Sports

Wheelchair Fencing

Updated: 2008-08-29 16:03



In the able-bodied sport of Fencing, two fencers compete on a 14-metre strip. In Wheelchair Fencing, the competition is static. The wheelchairs are fixed in place to the ground by metal frames and the chair is preferably clamped to both sides of the frame to keep the chair from tipping. The fencer with the shortest arms decides if the playing area will be at his distance or that of his opponent. One hand holds the fencing weapon and the other is used to hold onto the chair when lunging and recovering.

The target for Foil and Sabre competitions are exactly the same as able-bodied competition. In Épée competition, the target is everything above the waist, with an apron being worn below the waist to aid in cancellation of these touches. Feet must remain on the footrest and the fencer must remain seated (no space between the fencer's buttocks and the seat of the chair). The chair must be fixed at a 110-degree angle to the central bar.

In preliminary individual events, each bout lasts four minutes. The winner is the first to score five hits (or the greatest number of hits) in the bout. This is followed by a knockout system where athletes compete in three, 3-minute rounds with a one-minute break between rounds. The winner is the first to score 15 hits (or the greatest number of hits). In the case of a tie and extra one-minute bouts is played and the first to score a hit is the winner. In team events, the first team of three to score 45 hits is the winner.

Individual and team events are included in Foil and Epée for men and women. Sabre events (individual and team) are limited to men. The main object is the same as able-bodied competition. Athletes are connected electronically to a signal box that records the touches of the weapon. A point is awarded each time a fencer touches the opponent in the target area.

(Credit: IPC. Click here for further information.)

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