20th June 2013
GREAT BRITAIN WIN MEN'S FOIL TEAM BRONZE AT 2013 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Cook, Davis, Kruse & Mepstead steam to another European Medal for GB
Today James Davis, Richard Kruse, Marcus Mepstead and Keith Cook (res) won a second medal for Great Britain at this year’s European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.
They comfortably beat Israel 45-31 in the incomplete round of 16 with Cook replacing Mepstead for the seventh leg. A well executed 45-37 victory over world ranked sixth team, France in the next round took them into a semi-final against Poland. Poland, somewhat surprisingly defeated an under-par Italy, 45-40 in the quarterfinal. A cagey fight followed with Kruse handing teammate Davis a slender 35-34 lead going into the anchor leg. Majewski (POL) took the fight to Davis and took Poland to a 45-42 victory.
The British team put aside that defeat to take on the Russian team who were well beaten by Germany in the other semi-final. After three legs Britain were 13-10 up against the World number 3 team but Kruse extended the lead to 20-12 after the fourth match. Despite a great seventh leg from Akhmatkhuzin (8-4), Russia still trailed 26-34 and Kruse followed by Davis saw it out 45-33. This fine medal winning performance is ideal preparation for the World Championships coming up in Budapest, Hungary at the beginning of August.
Speaking after the event, Richard Kruse said; “We are delighted to have beaten Russia and France today both of whom are world class teams. With this new team it is the very first time we've all been fencing at our best at the same time and that is the winning formula for the team event! We thought we'd lost our chance to get a medal when losing to Poland in the semis but then upped our game and beat the Russians for the first time in a championship event.”
British Fencing Performance Director, Alex Newton, added; “I am so proud of the boys today winning the bronze medal. It was a tough match against Poland and we were all bitterly disappointed when they lost and didn't make the final. However, the way in which they regrouped and refocused for the bronze medal play off was impressive. They all fenced so well and it was such a convincing win over Russia who we have never beaten in the team event at a major competition. This is such a good platform on which to head to Budapest and the Worlds in five weeks time.”
Germany (Bachmann, Braun, Joppich and Gustinello (res)) won the event beating Poland (Glonek, Kawiecki, Rajewski and Majewski (res)) 45-39 in the final to take the European title. Taking the lead for the first time in the fifth leg, Germany never looked back. Peter Joppich takes two gold medals away from this Championship. With one more day to go in the event, Great Britain will be taking part in the Men’s Sabre team event.