Report from the first epee events of the new season
The 2014 senior Grand Prix and World Cup season started for the world’s best epeeists in Berne, Switzerland and Legnano, Italy at the weekend.
Women’s Epee World Cup, Legnano
Eight British women joined a massive field of 219 athletes in Italy. Twenty-nine first round poules were spread over three waves as Mary Cohen (V2D3), Corinna Lawrence (V4D2), Hannah Lawrence (V5D1), Abbi Matthews (V4D2) and Katrina Smith (V2D4) all made the cut. Linsday Bottoms (V1D5), Jayne Crook (V2D4) and Emily Jeanes (V1D5) did not.
Hannah Lawrence’s poule performance earned her a bye through the first of three preliminary knockout fights. Corinna Lawrence joined her in the second stage – beating Staehli (SUI) 15-9. Cohen lost 15-8 to Batini (ITA), Kuusk (EST) saw off Matthews 15-7 and Jacques Andre Coquin (FRA) defeated Smith 15-8. British interest ended in the next round as Del Carretto (ITA) defeated Corinna Lawrence 15-12 and Gherman (ROU) beat Hannah Lawrence 15-6.
Anfisa Pochkalova (UKR) beat Ana Maria Branza (ROU) 13-12 to take the gold medal as Britta Heidemann (GER) and Emese Szasz (HUN) settled for the bronze medals.
Great Britain did not enter the team event as twenty-eight teams competed on the last day of the event. Estonia beat Romania 33-29 for the gold medal and Italy took the bronze medal by beating France 27-26.
GB Individual Placings: H. Lawrence 69th, C. Lawrence 73rd, Matthews 121st, Cohen 144th, Smith 152nd, Crook, 174th, Bottoms 193rd and Jeanes 194th.
Men’s Epee World Cup, Berne
Just three British fencers were involved in the event in Switzerland joining a field of 217. All three fencers made it through the first round as Tomas Curran Jones won two fights from six and Paul Sanchez-Lethem and Gareth Thomas both won three from six. The latter two earned byes through the first of three preliminary qualifiers and Curran Jones joined them with a 15-5 victory over D’Eon (CAN). In the second stage of the preliminaries Jerent (FRA) def Thomas 15-9 but Curran Jones beat Hadzic (USA) 15-11 and Sanchez-Lethem knocked out S. Pinto (COL) 15-14. That meant the two British fencers faced each other in a fight-off to make the second day and the round of 64. It was Curran Jones who prevailed with a 15-11 victory. The world number one, Robeiri (FRA) lay in waiting but clearly that did not faze Curran Jones. He fought extremely well and despite losing, gave the French fencer a shock by taking him to 15-14.
Ulrich Robeiri went on to take a bronze medal and was joined on the third step of the podium by teammate, Gauthier Grumier. It was a great day for France as Jean-Michel Lucenay took the gold medal beating Geze Imre (HUN) 15-11.
Great Britain did not enter the team event as twenty-six teams fought for gold on the last day of the event. France complete a tremendous weekend by beat Switzerland 39-38 in the gold medal match. Korea beat Ukraine 40-39 to take the bronze medal.
GB Individual Placings: Curran Jones 64th, Sanchez-Lethem 77th and Thomas 140th.
The 2014/15 senior season continues next weekend with a Women’s Sabre World Cup in Margarita Island, Venezuela. There was a Men’s Sabre World Cup scheduled in Dakar, Senegal but that event has been cancelled.
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