(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – As one of the final sports to begin competition at the Paralympic Games, wheelchair fencing kicks off at the ExCeL Center in London on Tuesday with the men’s and women’s foil events.
Three of Team USA’s six wheelchair fencers will take the strip on the first day of competition.
The schedule will begin with pool rounds for each of the three fencers – Mario Rodriguez (Port Hueneme, Calif. / Men’s Category A), Gerard Moreno (Los Angeles, Calif. / Men’s Category B) and Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind. / Women’s Category A) – after which fencers who advance past the cut will be seeded into a table of 16 in the men’s events and eight in the women’s events.
A four-time Paralympian, Rodriguez will fence 2006 Wheelchair World medalist Ludovic Lemoine (FRA), 2010 Wheelchair World medalist Ivan Andreev (RUS), 2008 Paralympic Games fourth-place finisher Wing Kin Chan (HKG) and Richard Osvath (HUN), the #4-ranked fencer in the world in the Category A foil.
The youngest wheelchair fencer at the Paralympic Games, 16-year-old Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.) is the reigning Category A foil Pan American Champion and is hoping to surprise opponents in her six-fencer pool. Bouwkamp’s first opponent is Bai Li Wu (CHN), a silver medalist in the Category A epee at the 2011 Wheelchair World Championships. Bouwkamp will go on to fence Evgeniya Sycheva (RUS) in the second pool round and five-time Paralympic Champion Yee Yu Chui (HKG) in the third. Bouwkamp’s last two bouts will pit her against 2011 Wheelchair World medalist Veronika Juhasz (HUN) and Sabrina Poignet (FRA) – the #3-ranked fencer in the world in this event.
Team USA’s captain, Gerard Moreno (Los Angeles, Calif.), will fence in his fifth straight Paralympic Games where he will open with a pool bout against Timur Khamatshin (RUS). Moreno’s second round will be against Daoliang Hu (CHN) who won gold in both the epee and foil events at the 2008 Paralympic Games. In the third, Moreno will meet three-time Paralympic Champion Pal Szekeres (HUN) who finished second at the 2010 Wheelchair Worlds behind Hu. Moreno’s final bout will be against 2011 Wheelchair World silver medalist Alim Latreche (FRA).
The competition schedule for Tuesday is as follows (All Times Local):
Men’s Category A Foil Pools
Women’s Category A Foil Pools
Women’s Category B Foil Pools
Men’s Category A Foil Table of 16
Men’s Category B Foil Pools
Women’s Category A Foil Quarter-Finals
Women’s Category B Foil Quarter-Finals
Men’s Category A Foil Quarter-Finals
Men’s Category B Foil Table of 16
Men’s Category B Foil Quarter-Finals
Men’s Category A Foil Semifinals
Men’s Category B Foil Semifinals
Women’s Category A Foil Semifinals
Women’s Category B Foil Semifinals
Men’s Category A Foil Finals
Men’s Category B Foil Finals
Women’s Category A Foil Finals
Women’s Category B Foil Finals
Visit www.paralympic.org for the complete schedule of which events will be streamed live from London.