Fifth place finish is GB’s finest since 1955
The final three days of the 2015 Senior World Championships saw medals awarded in the six team categories.
Men’s Team Foil
It was a great day for the British team in the men’s foil event as they secured fifth place from a field of twenty-seven. On the qualifying day Great Britain (Davis, Halsted and Kruse with Mepstead in reserve) eased passed Venezuela 45-21 in the round of 32. The next match was crucial as they faced their main rivals for the European zone qualification spot for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – Germany. Nothing short of victory in this match would be satisfactory with the Germans so far ahead in the World rankings. Despite a good start, Great Britain trailed 12-10 after three legs. The match remained tight throughout but Joppich (GER) took a 24-22 lead into the anchor leg against Davis. A brilliant performance from the British fencer saw him draw level at 28-all on time. A priority minute followed with Joppich holding the advantage. The German went on the attack but Davis was able to secure the win with a single light hit in close quarters. Great Britain went on to face Russia in the quarterfinals and a strong performance from Akhmatkhuzin, Cheremisinov and Rigin saw them leading by sixteen hits going into the penultimate leg. Kruse closed the gap to ten hits before handing over to Davis for the anchor leg. A composed and confident Davis landed eleven hits but ran out of time as Russia went on to win 40-38. Two fantastic wins over Korea (43-42) and the USA (45-42) meant that they achieved the best Men’s Team Foil result Great Britain has had at a World Championships since 1955 – when the team won a bronze medal in Rome. Germany were only able to finish tenth after the placings matches which means Great Britain have a good chance of overtaking them in the final Olympic qualification events.
China faced last year’s winners, France in the bronze medal match and led from the start. A 14-8 lead after three legs turned into a 30-23 lead after six. The Chinese team (Chen, Lei and Li) powered to the podium with a 45-31 victory. Italy (Baldini, Cassara and Garozzo) started well against the Russians in the gold medal match, leading 15-12 after a third of the match. The Russians fought back to trail 29-30 going into the final three legs. The Italians then performed strongly in the final three legs to take the title 45-38.
Men’s Team Sabre
The only other British team entry at this year’s World Championships was in the men’s team sabre event where Alex Crutchett, James Honeybone, Curtis Miller and JJ Webb were one of a field of thirty teams. They went on to beat Hong Kong 45-31 in the round of 32 before losing 45-28 to Germany in the 16. In the placings matches Great Britain lost 45-33 to Iran and 45-39 to Spain before beating Mexico 45-40 to finish fifteenth.
In the bronze medal match, last year’s winners, Germany (Hartung, Szabo and Wagner with Limbach in reserve), led from the start against France (Apithy, Anstett and Rousset with Medard in reserve). They went on to secure the bronze medal with a 45-30 victory. The gold medal match saw Italy (Curatoli, Montano and Occhiuzzi with Berre in reserve) face Russia (Kovalev, Reshetnikov, Yakimenko with Ibragimov in reserve). Italy ran out to a 10-2 lead and never looked back, taking the title 45-36.
Men’s Team Epee
Thirty-eight teams took part in this event. Canada surprised the American team in the round of 32 beating them 39-38 and Italy beat the team of the season, France, 44-42 in the quarterfinals. In the semi-finals Ukraine beat Italy 15-11 and Korea beat Switzerland 45-37.
In the bronze medal match, both teams opted to use non-combativity to keep the score low, going into the seventh leg with Switzerland leading Italy 13-6. From there Switzerland controlled the fight and led 27-12 going into the final leg with Italy forced to chase. The Italian reserve, Santarelli, came on and fought hard but ran out of time as the Swiss team took the bronze medal 38-24. The gold medal match between Korea (Jung, Kweon and Park with Na in reserve) and Ukraine (Herey, Karuchenko and Nikishin with Khvorost in reserve) also featured non-combativity. So much so that Ukraine only led 11-7 going into the final leg. A volley of forty hits were scored in the final three minutes as Ukraine took the title 34-17.
Women’s Team Epee
Thirty-one teams took part in this event which featured a surprise win for Japan over Estonia in the round of 16.
China (Sun, Sun and Xu with Hao in reserve) took out France (Candassamy, Nisima and Rembi with Mallo in reserve) 35-29 in the first semi-final as Romania (Branze, Dinu and Pop with Gherman in reserve) beat Ukraine 27-24 in the second. Ukraine dominated France in the bronze medal match, leading 10-5 after three legs and 23-16 after six, until the final leg. Candassamy came on for France to stage a remarkable comeback only for time to run out on her. Ukraine took the bronze medal 44-42 in the end. China took on Romania in the gold medal match and led from the start. Leading 24-18 after six legs, the Chinese team went on to outscore the French in the closing stages and took the title with a 45-36 victory.
Women’s Team Foil
Eighteen teams featured in this event as Hungary out-performed their World ranking by beating the USA 45-35 in the quarterfinals. They (Knapek, Mohamed and Varga with Jeszenszky in reserve) went on to lose their semi-final match to Italy (Batini, Di Francisca and Errigo with Vezzali in reserve) 45-18 whilst Russia (Deriglazova, Korobeynikova and Shanaeva with Biryukova in reserve) defeated France (Blaze, Guyart and Thibus with Ranvier in reserve) 45-41 in the other semi-final. The bronze medal match between Hungary and France remained tight throughout. When the penultimate leg ended due to non-combativity Hungary led 31-30. A tough ninth-leg scrap ended with the scores tied at 37-all and Hungary being awarded the priority. France was not to be denied their medal though and scored the final hit to make the podium. The gold medal match between Italy and Russia started as cagily as it normally does between these two teams with Italy leading 14-13 after three legs. Strong performances from Di Francisca and Errigo saw the Italians extend their lead to 30-25 after six fights and they went on to win the title 45-36.
Women’s Team Sabre
Twenty-three teams took part in this event and it was Poland (Jozwiak, Kozaczuk and Scoha with Wator in reserve) who caused the only real upset by knocking out number two seeds, France in the quarterfinals. They went on to lose 45-26 to Russia (Dyachenko, Egorian and Velikaya with Gavrilova in reserve) in the first semi-final as Ukraine (Kharlan, Komashchuk and Kravatska with Voronina in reserve) took out the USA (Muhammad, Wozniak and Zagunis with Stone in reserve) 45-41 in the other. The USA started very strongly in the bronze medal match and led 15-7 after three legs. Their dominance continued for the rest of the match and they ran away 45-33 winners. The gold medal match between Russia and Ukraine was a much tighter affair. Ukraine led 15-11 after three fights before Russia overtook them to lead 30-27 after six legs. The Russians held on to win the gold medal 45-41.
All of the team medal matches can be viewed at the following links:
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