Kruse clinches bronze and Davis takes sixth as Men’s Foil lead the way
There were senior international ranking events in Men’s Epee, Foil and Sabre this weekend along with Women’s Foil.
Men’s Epee World Cup – Heidenheim
The weekend’s action started in Heidenheim with another big entry of 186 fencers including three from Great Britain. Two survived the first round, Skipp (V2D3) and Willis (V5D1). Gregory (V1D5) unfortunately missed the cut. Skipp and Willis then had to navigate a two-fight preliminary knockout stage to make the round of 64.
Skipp went out in the first preliminary knockout 15-11 to Ambroz (CZE) but Willis beat Damas (VEN) 15-9 to progress to the second preliminary knockout. He lost out narrowly 15-14 to Lamon (SUI). After a brave come back from 13-9 down with 38 seconds on the clock, Willis levelled it at 14-14 but Lamon scored the winner.
The individual event was won by Robeiri (FRA) who beat Kauter (SUI) 15-12 in the final. The bronze medals went to Bino (ITA) and Grumier (FRA).
Great Britain did not enter the team event on Sunday which was won by Switzerland who beat Italy 36-32. The ninth leg of the match produced a stunning fight between Confalonieri and Heinzer with both men scoring 10 hits each in the last 3 minutes. The bronze was won by China who slipped by Russia 25-24.
GB individual placings: Willis 66th, Skipp 136th, Gregory 176th.
Men’s Foil Grand Prix – Wakayama
Five British fencers headed to Japan to join a field of 93 at the Grand Prix in Wakayama. A strong start from Davis (V5D1), Jefferies (V5D1), Kruse (V6D0) and Rosowsky (V5D1) meant they all earned a bye to the round of 64. On his return from injury, Halsted (V3D3) did not fare so well. He progressed to the preliminary knockouts where he lost 15-9 to Grigoryev (KAZ).
In the round of 64 Jefferies lost 11-10 to Pranz (AUT) and Rosowsky 15-14 to Majewski. Both fencers were extremely unlucky not to progress. Kruse beat Chu (HKG) 15-4 and Davis continued his run of form by beating Journet (FRA) 14-13. In the round of 32 both fencers progressed – Kruse defeated Minuto (ITA) 15-7 and Davis beat a former World Champion in Peter Joppich (GER) 15-12. In the round of 16 Kruse faced current World Champion and World number one, Cassara (ITA) and took him out 15-13. Meanwhile Davis made light work of Sintes (FRA) beating him 15-8. With one more victory standing between them and a medal Davis fell 15-11 to Braun (GER) but Kruse overcame Lefort (FRA) 15-8. This was a fantastic day for Davis whose form continues to go from strength to strength. Kruse lost his semi-final fight 15-14 to the eventual winner, Ma (CHN) but he was also pleased with the result.
Speaking straight after the medal ceremony, he said; “We are really pleased that between us we managed to beat Cassara and Joppich this close to the Olympic Games. It gives us real confidence for the final preparations.”
Ma (CHN) beat Choi (KOR) 15-13 to take the gold with the bronze medals going to Kruse and Braun (GER).
GB individual placings: Kruse 3rd, Davis 6th, Jefferies 38th, Rosowsky 42nd, Halsted 66th.
Men’s Sabre World Cup – Athens
Nine British men were selected to take part in the World Cup sabre event in Athens joining a field of 121. Only Clarke (V3D3), O’Connell (V5D1) and Ratneswaren (V2D3) made the first round cut. Boteler (V1D5) Alex Crutchett (V1D4), Anthony Crutchett (V1D5), Honeybone (V1D5), Rocks (V1D5) and Ward (V0D6) were eliminated after the poule stages.
O’Connell earned himself a bye to the round of 64 and he was joined by Ratneswarren who defeated Gall (HUN) 15-14 in the preliminary knockouts. Clarke was knocked out by Hamar (HUN) 15-11. Neither O’Connell nor Ratneswaren progressed through the next round as they lost 15-12 to Skubiszewski (POL) and world number one, Limbach (GER) 15-11, respectively.
The event was won by Beisheim (GER) who beat Wagner (GER) 15-12 in the final. The bronze medals were won by Dumitrescu (ROU) and Won (KOR).
In the team event GB lost 45-35 to Belarus in the round of 16 with Alex Crutchett, James Honeybone and Alex O’Connell making up the team (Clarke as reserve). In the placing matches GB finished 12th as they beat Ukraine 45-44, narrowly lost 45-44 to the World number six team, USA and then Poland 45-34 where Clarke was used as a substitute. The event was won by Russia who beat Germany 45-42 to take the gold medal despite a valiant effort from Hartung and Limbach in the last two fights. Romania beat Italy 45-41 to take the bronze medal.
GB individual placings: O’Connell 41st, Ratneswaren 62nd, Clarke 79th, Alex Crutchett 102nd, Honeybone 106th, Rocks 107th, Boteler 109th, Anthony Crutchett 111th and Ward 117th.
Women’s Foil Grand Prix – Marseille
Only Natalia Sheppard travelled to France for this Grand Prix event joining a field of 78 fencers. In the first round Sheppard dropped two of her six fights but this was still enough to go straight through to the round of 64. Here she met Wojtkowiak (POL). She lost 6-5 to the eventual bronze medallist, in a fight that went to a priority minute.
The event was won by Vezzali (ITA) who beat compatriot Errigo 15-11 in the final. Guyart (FRA) joined Wojtkowiak (POL) in winning a bronze medal.
GB individual placings: Sheppard 37th.
Next up on the circuit is the Women’s Epee World Cup in Rio De Janeiro, Women’s Foil World Cup in Shanghai and Women’s Sabre World Cup in Bologna.
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