Sheppard finishes 20th at Grand Prix in Gdansk
It was an all female affair this weekend with a sabre World Cup in London, an epee Grand Prix in Budapest and a foil Grand Prix in Gdansk.
London hosted the England Trophy this weekend welcoming 150 female sabreurs from all over the world. Results for the British team were mixed. Fairhead, Hunter-Thomas, Hutchison (Jane), McMillan, Pleasant, Potter and Watson were eliminated after the first round. Bilardi (V3D3), Bond-Williams (V3D2), Hutchison (Jo) (V4D2), Kempe (V5D1), Nicoll (V4D1), Roberts (V2D4) and Willams (V4D2) all made it through to the knockout stages. Only Bilardi, Bond-Williams and Roberts had to fence in the first preliminary direct elimination losing 15-14 to Garam (HUN), 15-14 to Pasternak (POL) and 15-12 to Nakayama (JPN). The remaining British fencers all got byes to the second preliminary elimination fights where Itzkowitz lost 15-7 to Mary (FRA) but Nicoll beat Klemm (GER) 15-11, Kempe beat Ho (KOR) 15-7, Williams beat Martin (SPN) 15-11 and Hutchison beat . Hopes were high for day two of the event with four British fencers into the round of 64. Unfortunately none of them made it any further into the competition with Hutchison losing 15-14 to the eventual winner Vougiouka (GRE), Williams going down 15-13 to Chen (CHN), Nicoll falling 15-10 to Wieckowska (POL) and Kempe eliminated 15-10 by Muhammad (USA).
On a day where a number of the top seeds fell early on the first semi-final was between Velikaia (RUS) and Kharlan (UKR) – two fencers you would expect to see at the business end of a competition of this standard. Kharlan stormed into an 8-5 lead in no time. In the second period Velikaia clawed back to take it to 9-9 when Kharlan took a nasty fall. Fortunately she wasn’t injured badly and opened up a two hit lead but Velikaia was able to change her tactics and scraped through 15-14. The second semi-final was between Vougiouka (GRE) and Besbes (TUN). The Tunisian took a three hit lead at the beginning but Vougiouka over-turned that by the break to lead 8-6. Both fencers used the whole length of the piste in this intriguing match. Besbes fought back hard and levelled the scores at 12-12 but Vougiouka pulled away again to win 15-12.
The hot favourite for the final was Velikaia and she quickly pulled out a 7-2 lead and was in control of the fight at the break (8-4). The break worked for Vougiouka who fought back strongly mixing up her tactics to confuse the Russian and levelled the match at 12-12. She stuck to this game plan and took the title 15-13.
In the team event Great Britain lost to Poland 45-35 in the round of 16. A 45-30 victory over Mexico in the placing matches was followed by a 45-37 defeat against Hungary. This meant that Great Britain faced Japan for 11th place and they took the fight 45-33. The gold medal was run by Russia who beat Ukraine in a thrilling match 45-44. Italy took the bronze medal by beating China 45-42.
GB individual placings: Kempe 45th, Nicoll 48th, Hutchison 52nd, Williams 55th, Itzkowitz 76th, Bond-Williams 97th, Bilardi 102nd, Roberts 114th, Fairhead 121st, Hunter-Thomas 124th, Pleasant 133rd, Potter 135th, McMillan 137th, Hutchison Jane 141st, Watson 143rd.
Women’s Foil Grand Prix – Gdansk
Seven British fencers headed to Poland to join a field of 119 at the Grand Prix in Gdansk. Bennett (V2D4), Ng (V1D5) and Troiano (V1D5) did not survive the poules stages. Bentley (V3D3) and Bryars (V4D2) were knocked out in the preliminary elimination matches 15-14 to Genevois (FRA) and 15-6 to Peterson (CAN) respectively. Emanuel (V4D2) made it through to the round of 64 beating Rochel (BRA) 15-10 and joined Sheppard who earned herself a bye and 20th seed by winning all of her poule fights. Emanuel was knocked 15-2 in the round of 64 by Liu (CHN) but Sheppard beat Jung (KOR) 9-8 on time to make the top 32. Next she faced Wojtkowiak (POL) and narrowly lost out 9-7 on time to finish 20th overall taking her to 57th in the world – currently the highest British female foilist.
The event was won by Maitrejean (FRA) who beat Nam (KOR) 15-14 in an incredible final. The bronze medals went to Di Francisca (ITA) and Golubystskyi (GER) .
GB placings: Sheppard 20th, Emanuel 53rd, Bryars 66th, Bentley 76th, Bennett 91st, Ng 106th, Troiano 109th.
Women’s Epee Grand Prix – Budapest
Another seven British women were selected to take part in the Grand Prix epee event in Budapest joining a field of 167. Only three made the cut, Cohen (V2D4), Usher (V4D2) and Lawrence C. (V4D2). Chang and McGeever both finished the first round with a single victory from their six first round matches with Lawrence H. and McGeever winning two from six. Lawrence C. and Usher earned themselves a bye through the first preliminary elimination fight but Cohen faced Dmowska-Andrzejuk (POL) who she beat 15-14 – a great result against a former World Champion. Usher and Cohen both fell in the second preliminary knockout to Westman (SWE) 12-11 and Moellhausen (ITA) 15-4, repectively. Lawrence C. made it through to the round of 64 beating Guy (CAN) 15-10. Next up for Lawrence was world number 18, Fiamingo (ITA) and it was the Italian who made it through to the round of 32 with a comfortable 15-7 win.
The event was won by Bereza (POL) who easily beat Navarria (ITA) 15-6. The bronze medals went to Kirpu (EST) and Szasz (HUN)
GB individual placings: C. Lawrence 50th, Usher 72nd, Cohen 95th, Highton 131st, H. Lawrence 141st, McGeever 150th, Change 156th.
Next up on the circuit is the Men’s Epee World Cup in Tallin, Men’s Foil Grand Prix in Venice and Men’s Sabre Grand Prix in Budapest.
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