Fiamingo and Robeiri crowned World Champions
The senior World Championships continued yesterday in Kazan, Russia with the final two individual medalists crowned in the two epee events
Corinna Lawrence was Great Britain’s sole representative in this event, joining a field of one hundred and thirty-one. Winning three of her five first round matches ensured that she secured a bye through the first of two preliminary knockout fights meaning that she faced Tatiana Gudkova (RUS) – twice Junior World Champion – to make the round of 64. Lawrence, who now combines her training in London with regular trips to France for sparring, dominated the fight from the start and went through 15-8. In the round of 64 she faced Marie Florence Candassamy (FRA) and led 8-7 going into the final period. The French fencer came out with purpose for the final period and went on to win 15-10.
The top four seeds were all out by the quarterfinal stage which meant Rosella Fiamingo (ITA) faced Yana Shemyakina (UKR) in the first semi-final and Erika Kirpu (EST) take on Britta Heidemann (GER) in the second. Fiamingo adopted a patient approach throughout the fight and led 7-5 going into the last period but Shemyakina came from behind to force a priority minute with the score 12-12 at time. The Ukrainian had the priority but it was the Italian who went on to fight for the title winning in a close quarters exchange. Heidemann’s experience made her the favourite for the second semi-final but Kirpu settled after a shaky start to level at 4-4 at the first break. The German seemed to be allowing the Estonian to push her to the back line but Kirpu was reluctant to do anything once she got there. Eventually Heidemann took control and led 11-5 at the second break. She went on to win 15-10.
In the final the young Italian (23 years old) had the challenge of handling Heidemann’s experience of winning multiple major Championshp medals. However, Fiamingo’s impressive show of patience in the first period of the gold medal match saw her level at 2-2 with Heidemann. Either a break in concentration or a change in tactics meant that the German led 6-4 going into the third and final period. Fiamingo’s fearless approach to that final three minutes saw her dominate and she took the World title in truly aggressive style 15-11.
GB placing: Lawrence 51st.
The final individual event of the day was the men’s epee individual where a massive field of 178 fencers did not include any British fencers. Despite some of the top seeds dropping fights in the first round on the preliminary day most of them made it through. However many of the top seeds fell early on the medal day, most notably Novosjolov (EST) who was knocked out 15-8 by Vuorinen (FIN) in the round of 64.
The first semi-final was an all French affair as Gautier Grumier took on Ulrich Robeiri. Grumier led 5-4 at the first break despite falling behind early on. Robeiri’s effective use of a change of distance saw him take control in the second period and he led 10-6 at the second break. Much the same continued in the final period and Robeiri went on to fight for gold with a 15-11 win. The second semi-final between Kyoungdoo Park (KOR) and Enrico Garozzo (ITA) was an entirely different affair. Park started aggressively and his hard working style saw him lead 7-4 at the first break and 12-8 at the second. There was nothing that the Italian could do as Park went on to win 15-10.
In the final Park came out with intent and took an early lead but Robeiri’s calm approach saw him level at 3-3 at the first break. The second period was much tighter as the French fencer’s approach appeared to slow the Korean down. At the third break it was clear that Robeiri’s coach was instructing him to finish attacks and ripostes to the midriff of his opponent. He followed that instruction to the letter in the final period and immediately went 8-6 up. At that point and in a sign of true sportsmanship Robeiri appeared to score a point in a close quarters encounter but he immediately signalled that it wasn’t a valid hit. He had in fact hit himself. At that point, with the clock showing less that half of the period was left it was all about when Park would take the risk and start attacking. He left it too late and Robeiri lifted the title with a 15-11 victory.
The team events will now start.