Dayton police officer wins gold medal in wheelchair fencing competition

Byron Branch, a Dayton police officer and athlete, won gold for the United States at his first international competition in Saskatoon, Canada.

Branch won the Category A Men’s Foil event at the 2018 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships, according to a release.

Before losing his leg while on duty as a police officer in December 2016, Branch competed as an “A” related able-bodied fencer.

After the accident, he was still able to help coach fencers at the American Fencing Academy in Dayton.

With a goal to make the 2020 Paralympic Games wheelchair fencing team, Branch plans to compete at the upcoming World Cup in Japan, as well as three Wheelchair North American Cup fencing events.

“My goal going in this time was to learn the tricks of the trade. There are things a little bit different about wheelchair fencing from able-bodied fencing. But long term the plan is to reach the pinnacle of the sport.”

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