skip navigation

Wheelchair World Championships Start Tuesday in Korea

09/15/2019, 9:15am CDT
By Kristen Henneman

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Nine members of Team USA are set to compete at the Wheelchair World Championships, which begin Tuesday in Cheongju, Korea.

The Paralympic qualifying tournament, which runs Sept. 17-23, includes both individual and team events in all three weapons and disability categories. More than 200 fencers from across the globe are expected to compete.

With the Paralympic Games less than one year away, the World Championships is a key qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Games.

Currently ranked No. 9 in the world in Category B women’s épée and No. 13 in women’s foil, Ellen Geddes (Johnston, S.C.) will be fencing at her fourth World Championships.

The Category A bronze medalist in women’s épée at last year’s America’s Championships, Geddes has earned two top eights in épée and one in foil this season and will be eyeing a podium finish in Korea.

Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.), one of five members competing their first Worlds for Team USA, will also be competing in Category B in all three weapons.

Making her return to competition after taking five years off as she completed her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University, 2012 Paralympian Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.) will make her comeback in all three weapons in Korea.

At 23 years old, Bouwkamp has already seen success on the international level. She is the 2013 World bronze medalist in Category A saber and a 10-time National Champion.

Also competing in the Category A events, Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) will make their World Championship debuts.

Jensen will be fencing all three weapons at her first Worlds. The silver medalist in saber and bronze medalist in foil at the 2018 America’s Championships, the 18 year old is coming off her best international result at the last World Cup in Warsaw, earning a top-16 result in saber.

Jensen will look to keep her momentum as she currently ranks in the top 25 and is the top athlete from the Pan American region in the Paralympic Qualification Rankings in all three weapons.

Fencing foil and épée, Isaacson enters the competition as the 2018 silver medalist in Category A foil at the 2018 America’s Championships. This season, she has claimed two bronze medals in épée and saber at the January North American Cup.

Patricia Dykes (Gainesville, Fla.) will be competing in Category A foil and saber at her second World Championships. Dykes won bronze at the USA Fencing National Championships in both foil and saber in April.

On the men’s side, Byron Branch (Bellbrook, Ohio) and Rick Swauger (Logan, Ohio) each will be competing at their first Worlds.

A police officer who was injured on duty in 2016, Branch won gold in Category A men’s foil at last year’s America’s Championships, his first-ever event competing in a wheelchair.

In Korea, Branch will be competing in both foil and saber after competing in the latter for the first time at the last World Cup in Warsaw.

Swauger, who will be competing in Category A men’s saber, enters as the reigning National Champion.

No stranger to international competition, Curtis Lovejoy (College Park, Ga.) is a five-time Paralympian in swimming and fencing. A seven-time World Championship medalist in Category C, Lovejoy will be fencing in Category B épée and foil to make a push for Paralympic qualification.

The competition schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Category A Men’s Épée
Category B Women’s Épée
Category B Men’s Foil
Category A Women’s Foil

Wednesday, Sept. 18
Category A Men’s Saber
Category B Women’s Saber
Category B Men’s Épée
Category A Women’s Épée

Thursday, Sept. 19
Category A Men’s Foil
Category B Women’s Foil
Category C Men’s Épée
Category C Women’s Épée

Friday, Sept. 20
Category B Men’s Saber
Category A Women’s Saber
Category C Men’s Foil
Category C women’s Foil

Saturday, Sept. 21
Men’s Team Foil
Women’s Team Épée

Sunday, Sept. 22
Men’s Team Saber
Women’s Team Foil

Monday, Sept. 23
Women’s Team Saber
Men’s Team Épée

Team USA’s roster is as follows:

Category A Women’s Épée
Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.)
Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Category B Men’s Épée
Curtis Lovejoy (College Park, Ga.)

Category B Women’s Épée
Ellen Geddes (Johnston, S.C.)
Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.)

Category A Men’s Foil
Byron Branch (Bellbrook, Ohio)

Category A Women’s Foil
Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.)
Patricia Dykes (Gainesville, Fla.)
Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Category B Men’s Foil
Curtis Lovejoy (College Park, Ga.)

Category B Women’s Foil
Ellen Geddes (Johnston, S.C.)
Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.)

Category A Men’s Saber
Byron Branch (Bellbrook, Ohio)
Rick Swauger (Logan, Ohio)

Category A Women’s Saber
Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.)
Patricia Dykes (Gainesville, Fla.)
Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Category B Women’s Saber
Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.)

Tag(s): Latest News