Italy’s Beatrice Vio ensured she finished the season unbeaten as she clinched the gold medal in the women’s foil category B event at the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Vio, who has not lost since the World Cup competition in Warsaw in September 2014, has been in superb form throughout 2015 and continued her reign of dominance by beating China’s Jingjing Zhou 15-11 in the final.
The result came after she had proved too strong for Russia’s Ludmila Vasileva by the same scoreline in the semi-final.
The 18-year-old remains firm favourite to claim the Paralympic title at Rio 2016 and hopes she can replicate this season’s display during next year’s Games.
“For me Rio has been a dream since I was made a torch bearer at London 2012 representing future Paralympic athletes,” Vio said.
“Later, even before the recent World Cups and World Championships, it became a real goal, and now it is there, waiting for me.
“It really is fantastic and I can’t wait to go.”
The Italian had already topped the podium on three occasions at World Cup events this year after taking gold on home soil in Pisa in May, in Warsaw the following month and at October’s competition in Paris.
Her triumph in the French capital came after she was crowned world champion in Eger, Hungary in September.
Elsewhere at the event in Sharjah, the Chinese wheelchair fencers came to the fore as Jianquan Tian sealed double gold by winning both the men’s sabre and épée category B competitions.
Tian’s compatriot Jing Rong was able to replicate that performance in the women’s category B, while China also claimed the men’s team foil title with victory over Russia.
The Russians got their revenge in the women’s team épée competition, however, as they edged the Chinese by a narrow 44-41 margin.
The 2016 wheelchair fencing season is due to get underway with the opening World Cup event of the campaign in Eger from February 10 to 14.