28 August 2021

Team foil silver sees wheelchair fencers finish remarkable Games with fifth medal

ParalympicsGB’s wheelchair fencing trio won a superb silver in the men’s team foil event to end a fairytale Tokyo 2020 for the sport with five medals.

Dimitri Coutya, Piers Gilliver and Oliver Lam-Watson were defeated 45-38 in the battle for gold against China late on Sunday evening but still claimed a brilliant silver medal to end their Paralympics on a high.

The three won a bronze in the team epee earlier this week but managed one better in the foil after beating France 45-23 in the semi-final, having downed the RPC (45-44), Ukraine (45-21) and Italy (45-37) during the pool stages.

Oliver Lam-Watson contributed to ParalympicsGB's success in the men's team foil event

Gilliver already had an historic Tokyo gold to his name – ParalympicsGB’s first in wheelchair fencing for 33 years – with the individual epee A class title, while Coutya claimed bronzes in both the B class equivalent and individual foil event.

Coutya said: “This medal is a real testament to how far we have progressed as a team and what huge contenders we are.

“We have huge respect for the China team, they are so sharp and hard working, so for us to come away with a result like this and to push them so close shows that we have come such a long way and that we are well within their reach.

“I am so delighted and proud of this team and what we have achieved today. We went into that match and gave it absolutely everything and we got the result that we deserved.”

Gilliver claimed silver in Rio five years ago in the men’s epee A event but stole the show this time around with his Paralympic title, to become the first Brit to leave with a gold in the sport since Carol Walton in 1988.

Piers Gilliver had already made history with his individual epee gold medal at Tokyo 2020

On the team silver, Gilliver added: “Today means such a lot. Coming into the Games after all the challenges of the last year we never dreamed we would get to the final, never mind coming so close to the gold medal team.

“I am so proud of how we all performed; we really give it 100%.”

And Lam-Watson – now a double Paralympic medallist – added: “We are so fortunate that the hard work we put in, our tough training has paid off.

“We didn’t come into this event with any expectations. We just wanted to give it our best and leave everything out there on the piste and I think we have really done that.

“I could not be more proud. We have performed really well and we are a new team so the only way is up and there are only three years until Paris!”

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