Davis Cements World Top Ten Ranking
Qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics resumed for the world’s top men’s foilists in San Jose at the weekend as James Davis secured a silver medal.
He began the weekend ranked fourteenth in the world which meant that he had a bye through the preliminary rounds. His campaign began in the round of 64 where he beat Maxime Pauty (FRA) comfortably, 15-10. He repeated that score over his next opponent Haiwei Chen (CHN) before breezing past former World Champion, Peter Joppich (GER), 15-8. His quarterfinal opponent, Roman Djitili (ALG) had to abandon their match due to what looked like a nasty knee injury, meaning that Davis had secured the minimum of a bronze medal.
In the semi-final, Davis faced the reigning World Champion and world number two, Yuki Ota (JPN) who had taken out Richard Kruse, 15-11, in the round of 16. The match started evenly with both fencers adopting a defensive approach and whilst Davis managed to slow down the usually super-fast Ota, he only led 10-9 at the first break. At the start of the second period the Japanese fencer came out with attacking intent but Davis controlled the distance well and took a well-earned 15-13 victory.
In the final against Timur Safin (RUS) Davis started slowly. The Russian fencer worked hard on closing the distance before landing his attacks but when Davis pushed him he moved out of reach. There were moments when it looked like Davis had solved this puzzle but each time Safin adapted taking the fight 15-8 in the first three minutes and with it, the World Cup title.
Whilst qualification for this discipline is initially based on team rankings, should Great Britain fail to qualify, this result goes a long way to securing Davis an individual place in Rio next year.
Speaking about the result British Fencing’s Performance Director said; “It was a fantastic result for James and a great start to the season, with every ranking point counting as we enter the second half of the Olympic qualification. However, there was little time for celebration, as today we are fencing in the team event with qualifying a team a top priority for both James and the men’s foil squad.”
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