A busy weekend of senior fencing action took place across the globe over the weekend including two World Cup events and two Grand Prix.
The weekend’s action started with the women’s sabre Grand Prix in Orleans, France. Of the eight strong British team only three made it through to the round of 64 on the second day. Angela Bilardi won four of her five first round fights giving her a bye through the first preliminary knockout. She then beat Puda (POL) 15-11 to make the top 64. Bilardi was then beaten comfortably (15-6) by Perrus (FRA) who is ranked 17th in the World. Louise Bond-Williams also had a fantastic first round winning five of her six first round matches. This earned her a bye through to the round of 64 where she faced Liang (CHN) who she dominated, going on to win 15-8. Unfortunately Bond-Williams was then knocked out by world number 7, Kim (KOR) 15-7. Joanna Hutchison won four of her six first round matches giving her a bye through the first preliminary knockout fight. She then beat Jammes (FRA) 15-12 to make the second day where she faced world number 16, Pundyk (UKR). In a fantastic match, Hutchison took a commanding 8-2 lead into the break and then went on to lead 14-9. Pundyk, dramatically levelled in the match at 14-14 but Hutchison showed tremendous grit to take the fight and make the round of 32. Lucchino (ITA) knocked her out 15-11 at this stage. The event was won by Mariel Zagunis (USA) from Sophia Velikaia (RUS), Olga Zhovnir (UKR) and Ji Yeon Kim (KOR).
GB placings: Bond-Williams 23rd, Hutchison 32nd, Bilardi 42nd, Kempe 73rd, Roberts 77th, Nicoll 113th, Williams 126th, Fairhead 129th.
Nine British fencers headed to Germany for their first World Cup of 2012. Only five survived a tough first round and only two made it through the first preliminary knockout. Natalia Sheppard, who won three and lost three in the first round, overcame Dunholter (GER) 15-5. Unfortunately she failed to qualify for the round of 64, beaten 11-5 by Rashidova (RUS). Martina Emanuel won four of her six first round matches earning a bye through the first preliminary knockout. She the went on to beat Jelinska (POL) 13-11 to make the round of 64 where she was beaten 15-9 by eventual finalist Oh (KOR). Oncw again the Italians dominated the tournament with four into the final eight. The event was won by Elisa Di Francisca (ITA) from compatriots Valentina Vezzali and Arianna Errigo. The other bronze medal wnet to Hyun Hee Nam (KOR).
The Italians also cruised to victory in the team event, overcoming Russia 45-29 in the final. Great Britain was knocked out in the round of 16 to eventual bronze medallist Poland. In the placings matches the GB team then went on to take the narrowest of victories over China (17-16), lost 28-17 to Japan and then beat Canada 32-30 to finish 11th.
GB individual placings: Emanuel 50th, Sheppard 89th, Troiano 118th, Bentley 123rd, Ng 126th, Bennett 138th, Cook 142nd, McKenzie 143rd, Bryars 151st.
Eight British men were amongst the field of 143 fencers who took part in the Grand Prix in Doha at the weekend. Only Jon Willis made it through to the round of 64 on the second day. He then faced Arede (POR) who he beat 15-7. In the round of 32 Willis was beat 15-11 by Trager (ITA). Kyoung Doo Park (KOR) beat Silvio Fernandez (VEN) in the final with Bas Verwiljen (NED) and Nikolai Novosjolov (EST) taking the bonze medals.
GB placings: Willis 25th, Marsh 67th, Perry 84th, Allen 92nd, Bennett 94th, Thomas 100th, Henderson 127th, Rowe-Haynes 128th.
Eleven British women were selected to take part in the World Cup epee event in Doha. Only two made the round of 64. Corinna Lawrence faced world number 3 Del Carretto (ITA) and whilst she lost she should be immensely proud of her performance, losing 11-10. Georgina Usher also had a fight against a top World seed in Sivkova (RUS) – 12th in the World.
Usher also put in a gutsy performance and also only lost by a single hit, 10-9. Mara Navarria (ITA) beat Hyo-Jung Jung 15-10 to take the title with the bronze medals going to Francesca Quondamcarlo (ITA) and Rosella Fiamingo (ITA).
In the team event Great Britain lost to Switzerland 45-34 in the round of 32. Russia beat China 39-35 to take the gold medal with Romania beating South Korea 45-34 for the bronze.
GB individual placings: Usher 58th, C. Lawrence 61st, McGeever 85th, Cohen 95th, Chang 128th, Highton 148th, H Lawrence 151st, Radford 152nd, Harvey 157th, Payne 158th, Smith 166th.
Next up on the circuit is the Men’s Foil World Cup in La Coruna and the Men’s Sabre World Cup in Padoua.
To download this report in pdf form please click here
Sign up to receive regular highlights from the exciting world of fencing - celebrating the best of our unique and inspiring community