Durham alumna Gemma Collis McCann heads for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, opening August 24th, competing in the wheelchair fencing Category A épée and sabre events.
Tokyo will mark Collis McCann’s third Paralympic games after taking up fencing at Durham University in 2011 whilst studying Law, where she was recruited by Hungarian wheelchair fencing coach Laszlo Jakab. Collis McCann qualified for London 2012 just 11 months into the sport and finished eighth at Rio 2016. She hopes to improve on this result following a World Cup gold and bronze win in Montreal in 2018, where she became the first British woman to win a World Cup.
However, she has also stated she does not wish to put too much pressure on herself at the games given Covid-19 related disruptions, in which, she had not competed in 18 months and had to train alone in London, living with her parents, away from her husband; as discussed in a recent interview with Palatinate in June, which displayed her deep passion and commitment to the sport, self-funding her career since 2013.
Collis McCann will compete on the 25th and 26th of August.
The women’s category A individual sabre begins at 2:30 BST Wednesday August 25th, with bronze and gold medal matches at 9:00 BST.
The women’s individual category A épée takes place the following day and begins at 3:20 BST with the bronze and gold medal matches held from 10:30 BST.
Image: Gemma Collis McCann