Russia top the medal table on points
The final two days of the senior World Championships featured team foil and epee events for both men and women.
Women’s Foil Team
There were eighteen entries into this event but no entry from Great Britain. The top four seeds progressed to the semi-finals with no major issues where Italy defeated Korea 45-23 and Russia beat France 45-37.
That meant that France faced Korea for the bronze medal. Despite Korea taking the first leg 5-2, France took over the lead (8-7) at the end of the second period and never relinquished it. They earned their place on the third step of the podium with a 45-35 victory.
We have become accustomed to seeing Italy face Russia in gold medal matches in this discipline so it was no surprise that the match was extremely tight. Italy led 15-12 after three bouts only for Russia to steal the lead, 30-29, after six. Elisa Di Francisca’s 5-2 eighth leg gave Arianna Errigo the platform to take Italy to gold with a 45-39 win.
Men’s Foil Team
Twenty-six teams took part in this event including one from Great Britain (Davis, Kruse, Mepstead & Tofalides). Davis was rested for the first match against Thailand in the round of 32, which Great Britain won comfortably (45-21). A much tighter affair followed against Poland but the team edged it 45-41 with a strong team performance. In the round of 8 they faced Italy who dominated the fight from the start of the second leg, going on to win 45-32. In the placings matches Great Britain lost 45-40 to the USA and 45-38 to Germany to finish eighth.
The top two seeds, Italy and Russia faced each other for the bronze medal having lost to China and France respectively in the semi-finals. Looking hungrier from the start Italy cruised to a 45-29 victory. The gold medal match was also a one-sided match with France starting well and easing to a 45-25 victory over China.
Women’s Epee Team
Great Britain was not one of the twenty-eight teams competing for the penultimate gold medal of the championships. The top half of the draw went according to seeding with Russia facing Hungary in the semi-final. Russia progressed to fence for gold with a 31-24 victory. It was a different story in the bottom half of the draw as lower seeds Italy beat Romania 41-32 and Estonia beat China 31-30 in the quarterfinals. Estonia went on to fight for the gold medal beating Italy 42-32 in their semi-final. A strong start from Hungary saw them leading Italy 13-9 after three fights of the bronze medal match. The gap had grown slighty (24-19) by the end of the sixth but stunning performances from each of the Italians in the final three legs saw them go on to win 45-37.
The gold medal match was completely dominated both tactically and physically by the Russians who beat Estonia 40-29 on their way to the gold medal.
Men’s Epee Team
The final event of the championships was the Men’s Epee Team event which saw thirty-six teams fighting it out for the gold medal. Great Britain was not amongst them. Denmark put in a fantastic display to beat Venezuela 45-38 in the round of 16 but the Venezuelans fenced without reigning Olympic Champion, Ruben Limardo. Both semi-finals saw the lower ranked teams go through as France defeated Switzerland 31-24 (after Max Heinzer was substituted through injury) and Korea beat Russia 45-41.
Deprived of Heinzer for the bronze medal match, Switzerland kept it tight against Russia with a number of matches being called for non-combativity. Reserve, Peter Borsky, did more than hold his own for the Swiss team and produced a stellar performance which saw them take the bronze medal with a 23-21. France and Korea put on a fitting championship finalé in the gold medal match. Korea edged the first three matches 13-9 but France chipped away at the Korean lead and by the end of six matches they led 25-20. Grumier, Lucenay and Robeiri rounded off a tremendous championship for the resurgent French team with a 45-39 victory.
The Kazan Tennis Academy hosted a splendid tournament and the fencing world will return to Russia for next year’s World Championships in Moscow.
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