Germany win historic Men’s Sabre team gold
The senior World Championships continued on Monday in Kazan, Russia and it was the start of the team events. Sabre was the feature weapon of the day with both the men’s and the women’s competitions taking place.
Women’s Sabre Team
There were twenty-two entries into the first of the team events at the 2014 World Fencing Championships but no entry from Great Britain. The biggest shock of the tournament was the French team’s hugely impressive victory over the World number one team, Russia in the quarterfinals (45-41). They went on to an equally impressive victory (45-42) over Italy in the first semi-final. The other semi-final between the USA and Ukraine was an incredibly tight affair which was won by the USA 45-44.
The bronze medal match between Italy and Ukraine started well for the Ukrainians and they led 15-9 after three matches. Two strong legs from the Italians saw them seize the lead but on came Kharlan to put the Ukrainians back in charge. Bianco and Vecchi performed well in the seventh and eighth legs to put Italy 40-35 up going into the final leg. As we have come to expect Kharlan came on to anchor the Ukrainians and a typically assured display saw her take them to victory 45-42.
The USA team dominated the early stages of their gold medal match with France and despite the French taking the lead after the third and fourth legs the USA led 30-28 after the sixth. From then on the Americans pulled away and took the gold medal comfortably, 45-39.
Men’s Sabre Team
Twenty-five teams took part in this event including one from Great Britain (Aiyenuro, Crutchett, Honeybone & Miller in reserve). Spain were their opponents in the incomplete round of 32 and led 30-25 after six matches. Great Britain took the narrowest of leads into the final leg at 40-39 up but Casares anchored the Spanish team home with a 45-44 victory.
Germany defeated the number one seeds Russia 45-40 in the first semi-final and Korea beat Hungary 45-32 in the second. So the Hungarians took on the Russians for the bronze medal and a very solid start saw them lead 15-11 after three legs. The lead changed hands at the end of each of the next three legs so it was the Russians that led 30-28 after six fights. Russia went into the final leg with a 40-36 lead but Hungary had reigning Olympic Champion, Szilagy, on in the anchor leg and his masterful display meant that Hungary levelled at 43-43. The Hungarians went on to win 45-44 to take the bronze medal. In an interesting aside the Hungarian team have faced the Russians three times in this event at World Championships held in Russia. They have won every time.
In the gold medal match the Koreans led the Germans 15-10 after a strong performance in the opening three legs. Limbach, Hartung and Wagner all fought well and with a great deal of determination to take Germany to a 30-27 lead after six fights. A truly gutsy performance took the to an historic 45-41 victory to secure Germany’s first ever Men’s team sabre World title.
The second day of team events starts tomorrow at 8.30am local time.
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