GBR wheelchair fencer, Piers Gilliver has just added to his glittering array of gongs – this time by royal appointment. Piers has been recognised with an MBE after his success at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Not only has Piers been the cornerstone of the GB wheelchair fencing game since 2014, but he has also brought a rigorous athletic approach to the discipline and has achieved spectacular results. From the outset, he surprised his opponents with his consistently high performances and began a phenomenal medal haul in international competitions. He won the first three World Cup qualifying competitions for the Rio Paralympic Games, including beating top Chinese fencer, Sun Gang, in Hong Kong. He went on to qualify for Rio 2016 and came home with a silver medal in the Category A Epee.
Qualifying for Tokyo 2020 was a completely different experience, as the rules had changed and athletes had to excel in more than one weapon. Piers continued to dazzle in epee, and changed his second weapon from foil to sabre, continuing to fence foil in the team events.
He qualified for Tokyo in first place in the combined rankings and played a large part in the success of both the epee and foil teams. Despite the challenges of training to the highest level during the pandemic, Piers never faltered and led Great Britain’s wheelchair fencers to Japan, where they showed the true grit and talent built by their passion and dedication.
Piers won individual gold in the men’s Category A epee, beating Rio 2016 Champion Sun Gang of China, before defeating Russia’s Maxim Shaburov in the final. He also won silver in team foil, and bronze in team epee.
The award of an MBE is a fitting end to the year for this remarkable fencing athlete.
Thanks to British Disability Fencing for providing this story. British Disability Fencing (BDF) is the governing body for the paralympic sport of Wheelchair Fencing in Britain. Read more about BDF here.
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