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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Watching the Paralympics Wheelchair Fencing

I was lucky enough to see the wheelchair fencing today at the Excel Centre, East London. On the piste, close to me, was Justine Moore who is the GB Team's representative in the women's foil contest.

Foil is the form of fencing where you score points by hitting the opponents chest. The athletes in their wheelchairs move around a lot, to avoid attacks, and then launch counter attacks. I think that wheelchair fencing is perhaps more exciting to watch than conventional fencing.

GB fencer Justine Moore
Justine was not a favourite but the Paralympics is a real chance to take a few scalps with the aim of qualifying for the quarter finals, later in the day, after this morning's round robin where everyone plays each contestant in their group in a first to five hits.

Sadly, Justine lost her first duel against Russia's Irina Mishurova 5-2 after being 4 nil down.

Justine Moore then lost her second duel against the handy German, Simone  Briese-Baetke, five nil. It was not looking good for her to qualify at this stage.

Then she faced Hungary's Judit Palfi. To qualify she would need to win this one. Check out the match footage.

So, win she did. Being three nil up and then at four all, Justine Moore managed to win the last hit to give her the 5-4 victory.

Next she faced probably the best of the fencers in her group, Jingjing Zhou. Check out the video where we see Justine take a shock two nil lead.

Justine's last match was against an opponent that she had a chance to beat, Ukraine's Iryna Lukianenko, who had lost all her matches of the day and was sitting in last place. Fingers crossed...

So with Justine losing her last match against Iryna Lukianenko 5-4, she was level in joint fourth place with two other fencers. All three of those did not make it to the quarter finals.

See what Justine had to say after the group matches. Well done Justine. On another day, a win or two more might have happened. Look forward to the Epee on Wednesday.

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