Report: 8th National Wheelchair Fencing Championship, Karnal
The 8th National Wheelchair Championship, 2015 - was held in Karnal, Haryana from 28th to 30th January, 2016 by Haryana State Wheelchair Fencing Association who is affilated to Wheelchair Fencing Federation of India.
The competition witnessed the highest number of fencers to date with more than 150 fencers across 13 states in both Men's & Women's Senior Category. Players with different physical ability ranging from 20% to 85% participated in category A & B.
Mr. Satyavir Singh - Secretary of Haryana State Wheelchair Fencing Association mentioned "As Haryana is one the state to motivate sports since last few years, we decided to host the 8th edition to increase awareness of Wheelchair Fencing in Haryana. Thanks to all our sponsorers & Tapan Rehabilitation Society for helping us conduct this event so successfully. After this event, we have received a lot of enquiry by differently people to join this sport. We would also like to thank the national federation for their guidance & support."
Mr Shankar Iyer - Secretary of Wheelchair Fencing Federation of India says "Wheelchair Fencing is growing each year. New states like West Bengal joined us this year. Many fencers now have their own FIE equipment. Able body fencing coaches are taking interest to teach wheelchair fencing in their clubs. Last year Indian team participated in 3 international event - 7 fencers in Canada - World Cup, 3 fencers in Hungary - World Championship & 2 fencers in Sharjah, World Championship.”
“We have three bright international players - Mr. Vibhas Sen from Maharashtra who is internationally ranked 52 in Men's Sabre, Mr. Ramesh Rao from Orissa, who is internationally ranked 70 in Men's Epee and Mr. Ventatesha Babu from Karnataka who is internationally ranked 79 in Men's Foil," he added.
The surprise from this year national championship was a 14-year-old fencer Master Praveen from Haryana who made to final of Sabre individual & shocked everyone.
His coach Mr. Satyavir Singh says "He has a tremendous potential, he is one of the youngest wheelchair fencesr in India. We're planning to send him in Under 17 World Championship in October at Netherland this year."
International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation ( IWASF ) has also applauded for conducting this type of event each year to increase awareness & is also very happy with the growth of Wheelchair Fencing in India.
With this successful event, the India team is all ready to compete in Asian Championship in April, 2016 at Hongkong.
The next edition i.e. 9th National Wheelchair Fencing Championship will be most likely conducted by Mathura, Uttar Pradesh around May, 2016.