Report from the individual events at Baku 2015
The very first European Games have just ended in Baku, Azerbaijan and fencing was included in the schedule.
The women’s epee event was the first on the schedule in Crystal Hall with thirty-five fencers taking part including Corinna Lawrence. Three victories from six fights in the first round meant that she qualified for the incomplete round of 32. She went on to beat Tataran (ROU) 15-10 before losing 15-12 in the round of 16 to Rizzi (ITA) to finish fifteenth.
Ana Maria Branza (ROU) claimed the first fencing gold medal at the Games beating Yana Zvereva (RUS) 15-11 in the final. The bronze medals were awarded to Simona Gherman (ROU) and Erika Kirpu (EST).
The second event of the Games was the men’s sabre individual event where thirty-six fencers, including James Honeybone fought to become the European Games Champion 2015.
Winning four of his five first round fights saw him draw Bucur (ROU) – a fights which he won 15-6. In the round of 16 he put up a brave fight against the world number three, Dolniceanu (ROU) but lost 15-10 to finish thirteenth.
Tiberiu Dolniceanu went on to claim the silver medal, losing 15-10 to Andriy Yagodka (UKR) in the final. Alberto Pellegrini and Luigi Miracco – both of Italy – shared the bronze medal position.
Day two of the tournament began with the individual men’s epee event. There were no British contenders as a field of thirty-five fought for the title. Ivan Trevejo (FRA) became the seventh different French winner of a major title this season by beating Sergey Khodos (RUS) 15-8 in the final. The bronze medals went to Daniel Jerent (FRA) and Bartosz Piasecki (NOR).
The second event on day two was the individual women’s foil individual which saw a field of thirty-six compete for the European Games title. Natalia Sheppard was Britain’s sole representative in the competition and she started well winning four of her five first round matches. She went on to beat Walczyk (POL) 13-7 in the round of 32 before narrowly losing 13-12 to Golubytskyi (GER) in a priority minute. She finished the tournament in eleventh place.
Alice Volpi (ITA) started the final against Yana Alborova (RUS) in commanding style, opening up a significant lead before being pegged back. Volpi steadied and took the title 15-11 inside the first three-minute period. The bronze medals were won by Valentina Cipriani (ITA) and Adelina Zagidullina (RUS).
Four British fencers lined up in a field of thirty-six on the last day of individual events in Baku. Richard Kruse and Marcus Mepstead both won two of their five first round matches and thus progressed to the knockout rounds but Ben Peggs (V0D5) and Alex Tofalides (V1D4) did not make the cut. In the round of 32, Tony Helissey (FRA) beat Kruse 15-9 and Ingargiola (ITA) just defeated Mepstead 15-14 in a thrilling fight.
Alessio Foconi (ITA) took on Timur Arslanov (RUS) for the gold medal and won a captivating final 15-11. Francesco Ingargiola (ITA) and Jean-Paul Tony Helissey (FRA) went home with the bronze medals.
Aliya Itzkowitz was the sole British representative in a field of thirty-six for the last individual event of the Games. A promising start saw her win four of her five first round fights including a couple of big scalps to leave her ranked sixth for the elimination stages. Unfortunately her day ended in the round of 32 with Watora (POL) beating her 15-12.
The venue came alive for the gold medal match. Sevil Bunyatova (AZE) thrilled the crowd by coming from behind against Angelika Wator (POL) to level the score at 14-14. Wator scored the winning hit with a brave parry riposte to become the final individual fencing champion of the Games. Sevil’s twin sister, Sevinch Bunyatova (AZE) and Margaux Rifkiss (FRA) settled for the bronze medals.
Great Britain only entered the Men’s Team Foil event in Baku which they won. A full report for this event can be found here.
Men’s Team Epee Results
Women’s Team Epee Results
Women’s Team Foil Results
Men’s Team Sabre Results
Women’s Team Sabre Results
The season finalé, the Senior World Championships begins in Moscow, Russia on 13th July.
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