Georgian female fencer takes World Championship silver

23 Sep 2015 - 13:36

  • Georgian fencer Irma Khetsuriani during a practice session. Photo by Vladimer Valishvli/UNDP., 23 Sep 2015 - 13:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Georgian female fencer has won silver at the Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Eger, Hungary.

Irma Khetsuriani narrowly missed out on the gold in Sunday’s tough final match after breezing through her earlier matches.

Khetsuriani faced Ukraine’s Tetiana Pozdniak in the women’s sabre B discipline final after winning all of her group stage matches. She then went on to beat Polish fencers Joanna Przepka in the quarter-final and Patrycja Hareza in the semi-final knockout round.

In a close final bout the Georgian competitor succumbed to Pozdniak with a 13-15 score and had to settle for the silver medal.

Khetsuriani’s participation in last year’s Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Lonato, Italy was supported by the Tbilisi City Hall. Photo from Parasport Development Centre of Tbilisi.

Khetsuriani is Georgia’s first female wheelchair fencer. She was disabled by a spinal disease and was confined to a wheelchair however when Georgia’s Paralympic Committee suggested she try wheelchair fencing, Khetsuriani excelled.

"I was surprised, even shocked when the [Committee] suggested I could do wheelchair fencing. But then I realised how exciting that was,” she told UNDP Georgia in an interview last year.

In the sport where most competitors specialise in one of the three types of fencing weapons – sabre, foil and épée – Khetsuriani competes in all three categories.

She had barely started her athletic career before taking fifth place in the senior women’s sabre category at the 2014 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Germany and ranking third in the 2014 Montreal Grand Prix in the women’s foil classification.