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China sweeps wheelchair fencing golds at Beijing Paralympics

BEIJING -- Chinese wheelchair fencers continued their gold medal haul as they swept all three gold medals on offer at the Beijing Paralympic Games on Monday.

Tian Jianquan of China (L) is hugged by his coach after beating his compatriot Zhang Lei in the men`s Individual Epee A final event during the 2008 Paralympic Games at the Fencing Hall in Beijing on September 15, 2008. [Agencies]

China, claiming two golds on Sunday, made an emphatic assertion of its dominance in the men`s individual epee Category A and B, and the women`s individual epee Cat. A by pulling down world top players.

China now led the medal standings with five golds, three silvers and one bronze as Hong Kong of China took the second place with one gold, one silver and one bronze. Belarus and France shared the third position with one bronze respectively.

In the men`s individual epee Category A, the 18-year-old Chinese Tian Jianquan did not look threatened when he met his higher-ranked teammate Zhang Lei in the final.

Zhang Chuncui of China (C) Yu Chui Yee (L) and Fan Pui Shan (R) of Hong Kong of China hold up their medals from the women`s Individual Epee A final event during the 2008 Paralympic Games at the Fencing Hall in Beijing on September 15, 2008. [Agencies]

Tian, who started training four years ago, showed his potential in this sport as he won a bronze medal at the 2005 World Cup event.

The 26-year-old Zhang, winning a silver on Sunday in the foil Cat. A, was not in a good form due to the fever as Tian took the lead 14-9, but Zhang recovered to fight back to score two points consecutively to shorten the gap 14-11.

Tian from Jiangsu Province kept a cool head and closed out the bout 15-11, taking the winning point with a speedy thrust.

"I was nervous. I kept telling myself to calm down and perform my best. " Tian told the press.

Zhang spent last night in the hospital and barely got back to the Paralympic Village this morning. Earlier on Monday his coach and team leader tried to persuade him to give up Monday`s event, but he refused.

"I would rather exhaust myself on the piste than lie in bed watching others playing," he explained.

"I would be lying if I say there are no regrets (to win two silvers). You never go all the way into the final not longing for the gold."

"However, considering my health condition and everything, I give myself an `A+` for my overall performance today," he added.

Radoslaw Stanczuk of Poland, silver medalist in Athens, downed David Maillard of France 15-12 in the bronze medal match.

Hu Daoliang, China`s top ranked athlete in men`s epee Cat. B at world No. 16, improved fast and looked capable of upsetting the top ranked fencers in Beijing. He survived in a hard contest against Mikalai Bezyazychny of Belarus 15-13 to collect his second gold medal, encouraged by the cheers from the stands.

The 28-year-old Hu clinched the gold medal in the foil cat. B on Sunday.

"After I won the gold yesterday, I just relaxed and prepared to start all over again. I was very confident and relaxed today," said Hu.

"Many people look down on disabled people, but I do this so they know: `I am a person, too. I can do everything that they can do and do even better,`" he added.

"I want to win a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, " said Bezyazychny.

Serhiy Shenkevych of Ukraine beat Marc-Andre Cratere of France 15-12 to claim the bronze medal in the men`s epee Cat. B.

Zhang Chuancui of China astonished all people in the Fencing Hall as the world No. 11 Zhang beat world top ranked Yu Chui-yee from Hong Kong of China 15-13 to rewrite Yu`s unbeatable record.

Yu, 24, was the world No. 1 and defending Paralympic champion. She won a total four gold medals at Athens 2004, including foil and epee Cat.A plus foil and epee Cat. A team.

Fan Pui-shan from Hong Kong of China, silver medalist in Athens Paralympics, won the thrilling bronze medal match against Zsuzsanna Krajnyak of Hungary 15-14.

The wheelchair fencing competition, slated for September14-17 at the Beijing Paralympics, attracted 88 players from 19 countries and regions to compete in individual categories A and B of men`s foil, epee and sabre and women`s foil and epee.

Date:2008-9-15 22:55:00     
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