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INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT REPORT - 24 FEB 2014

24th February 2014

INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT REPORT - 23 FEB 2014

Men’s Epee World Cup - Tallin

The weekend’s action began in Tallin, Estonia with Greg Allen and Philip Marsh representing Great Britain in another massive field of 241 fencers.

Allen won three of his six first round fights with Marsh winning four from six both earning byes through the first of three preliminary elimination fights.  They did not progress any further as Troels Christian Robl (DEN) defeated Allen 15-13 and Gabriele Bino (ITA) beat Marsh 15-11 at the second preliminary stage.

A number of highly ranked fencers fell in the round of 32 which opened the door to a other fencers keen to break into the top 16 in World.  We have become accustomed to big names falling in the early rounds and it was no different here as World number two, Nicolai Novosjolov (EST) went out in the round of 32 to World number 280, Chao Dong (CHN).  Max Heinzer (SUI) took the gold medal beating Bas Verwiljen (NED) 15-10 in the final with Chao Dong (CHN) and Gauthier Grumier (FRA) in the bronze medal positions.

Great Britain did not enter the team event so twenty-nine other teams battled it out.  Italy went on to win in a low scoring final, beating Hungary 20-19.  France beat Korea 45-41 to take the bronze medal.

GB placing:  Marsh 124th & Allen 136th.

Full individual results here.

Full team results here.

Men’s Foil World Cup – La Coruna

Twelve British fencers joined a field of 176 at the World Cup in Spain at the weekend.  James Davis, by virtue of his World ranking of six, was promoted directly to the round of 64 on the second day.  A six-victory demolition of his first round opponents earned Richard Kruse a bye through to the second day.  Acland Bryant was unable to win any fights in the first round so did not make the cut.  Keith Cook (V2D3), Jamie Fitzgerald (V3D2), Tom Hendrie (V4D2), Rhys Melia (V2D3), Marcus Mepstead (V5D1), Ben Peggs (V4D2), Amol Rattan (V2D3), Husayn Rosowsky (V5D1) and Alex Tofalides (V4D2) all progressed through to the two-stage preliminary qualification rounds.  Mepstead and Rosowsky were seeded high enough to earn byes through the first knockout stage and were joined by Tom Hendrie, who beat Lococq (BEL) 15-9 and Alex Tofalides, who took out Szeki (HUN) 15-13.  Cook lost 15-6 to Hardwicke-Brown (CAN), Fitzgerald fell 15-9 to Drobyshev (RUS), Journet (FRA) saw off Melia 15-5, Osmanski (POL) beat Peggs 15-10 and Rattan was beaten 15-4 by Kroeplin (GER).  In the second preliminary elimination Hendrie was so unlucky to be beaten 15-14 by Pranz (AUT), Ayad (EGY) edged Mepstead 15-13 and Rosowsky was unfortunate to draw Ota (JPN), in his comeback year, and lost 15-7.  The good news was that Tofalides made the round of 64 beating Lalonde Turbide (CAN) 15-13.

It was an early start to day two of the event with James Davis hitting the piste first for Great Britain.  He faced World number 419, Dong Jin Han (KOR) but surprisingly Davis struggled and eventually went out 15-13.  Richard Kruse could not find the form he’d shown on the first day of the event and he also went out, 15-13 to Guy Meen Park (KOR).  Things were not looking good for British interests in the individual event as Alex Tofalides faced former World Champion and World number eight, Peter Joppich (GER).  What was to follow was an undeniably impressive display from Tofalides.  He took the fight to the German with a display of great intelligence and tenacity.  Joppich couldn’t cope with Tofalides and the Brit took the fight 15-10.  He went on to face Jialao Shi (CHN) who towered over him.  The fight was close up until the final minute of the final period but Tofalides was forced to chase from 10-7 down and went out 14-7 on time.  On a day of disappointment for those that we have come to expect to compete in the latter stages of tournaments, Tofalides performance is evidence of the increasing depth of the British men’s foil programme.

The event was dominated by fencers from the Asian zone with five from the region competing in the quarterfinals.  It was a surprise to see that none of the three Italians competing in the round of 16 made it any further in the event.  Jianfei Ma (CHN) went on to win the competition 15-10 against the only non-Asian fencer to make the semi-finals, Alexander Choupenitch (CZE).  Yuki Ota (JPN) and Young Ki Song (KOR) took the bronze medals.

Great Britain lined up against twenty-one other teams on Sunday and had a bye through the incomplete round of 32.  They faced a tough Chinese team in the round of 16 and went out 45-28.  In the placings matches they lost 45-42 to Hong Kong, beat Spain 45-32 and then Brazil 45-24 to finish 13th.  Italy beat Russia 45-31 to take the gold medal while the USA overcame Germany 45-40 to take the bronze medal.

GB individual placings: Tofalides 31st, Davis 35th, Kruse 43rd, Mepstead 67th=, Rosowsky 67th=, Hendrie 74th, Peggs 98th, Fitzgerald 103rd=, Cook 121st, Rattan 122nd, Melia 123rd& Bryant 168th.

Full individual results here.

Full team results here.

Women’s Sabre World Cup – Ghent

Five British fencers were part of the field of 158 in the Womens’ Sabre World Cup in Belgium.  Bridget Pleasant (V0D5) and Jennifer Sancroft (V1D5) did not make the first round cut but Joanna Hutchsion (V4D2), Alice Watson V2D4 and Sophie Williams (V2D4) did.  Unfortunately, Hutchison and Watson drew each other in the first preliminary which Watson went on to win 15-9.  Williams also went through to the second preliminary, beating Palu (FRA) 15-9.  Neither fencer made it through to the round of 64 with Watson losing 15-7 to Kovaleva (RUS) and Sinigaglia (ITA) beating Williams 15-5.

It was a tough day for the usually strong Russian contingent with only Dina Galiakbarova progressing further than the round of 32.  Two familiar faces competed for the gold medal with Olga Kharlan (UKR) defeating Mariel Zagunis 15-11 to take the gold medal.  Galiakbarova and Dagmara Wozniak took the bronze medals.

Nineteen teams entered the event on Sunday with Great Britain facing the tough prospect of Kazakhstan.  The Brits went out 45-16.  Russia made up for a disappointing individual event by their standards beating Italy 45-39 to take the gold medal.  Ukraine edged France 45-43 for the bronze.

GB individual placings:  Williams 89th, Watson 94th, Hutchison 99th, Sancroft 129th & Pleasant 132nd.

Full individual results here.

Full team results here.

The senior circuit continues in just a couple of days with a Women’s Foil World Cup in St. Petersburg starting on Wednesday, a Women’s Sabre World Cup in Bolzano as well a Women’s Epee World Cup in St Maur on Friday and a Men’s Foil Grand Prix follows the Women’s Foil event in Russia on Saturday.

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