EUROPEAN WOMEN’S EPEE TITLE SECURED BY UKRAINIAN KHARKOVA
WOMEN’S EPEE REPORT
Twenty-five year old Vlada Kharkova from Ukraine claimed the Women’s Epee European title in Antalya, Turkey on day two of the Championships.
World number seventy-one had never made a senior podium but came through the ranking round with just one defeat to secure third seed for the elimination phase of the competition. She progressed through the event with victories over Bieleszova (CZE) 15-10, Sonmus (TUK) 15-9, World number three Candassamy (FRA) 15-11 and Muhari (HUN) 15-8 before beating Martyna Swatowska-Wenglarczyk (POL) 15-10 in the semi-finals.
On the other side of the draw Italy’s Rosella Fiamingo faced teammate Mara Navarria in the other semi-final, coming from behind to win 7-6 in extra-time.
Kharkova, spurred on by tremendous team support, started the final against Fiamingo well. She built a lead which she then defended through to the last period in a very tense match. Fiamingo, as expected, fought back but every time she got within one point Kharkova pushed ahead. With time running out Fiamingo was forced to go on the attack which played into the Ukrainian’s hands. Kharkova secured the European Championship title with a 15-10 victory.
Having received her medal, Kharkova said, “My fencing wasn’t great at the beginning but I had a chat with my coach and we decided that I needed to take more risks. After that I felt so good, so strong and so independent and everything was OK. Now I have this result and I am happy. I’m just so happy.” Looking ahead to the team event she added, “Me and my team work so hard. We’ve had a lot of challenges and we have been frightened but thanks to the Polish and Israeli team – thank you guys – we can win. We can do a lot.”
The Women’s Epee team event takes place on the penultimate day of the Championships but the event continues with the Men’s Epee and Women’s Sabre individual events on day three.
The full schedule is available here.