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Excitement Builds as Fencing World Cup Season Kicks Off

09.11.2023 0:00


The fencing community is eagerly anticipating the start of the World Cup season, which promises five thrilling competitions taking place this weekend. The men's epee event will take place in Bern, Switzerland, the women's epee event in Legnano, Italy, the men's foil event in Istanbul, Turkey, and both the men's and women's sabre events in Algiers, Algeria. This series of competitions is extremely important for those who are seeking Olympic tickets, as the qualification period is currently underway. It is a tough time for everyone involved. Some fencers will be trying to earn points, while others may have to deal with health issues.


For example, the reigning world champion, Tommaso Marini, will not be competing due to arm surgery he underwent right after the World Championships. When asked about his recovery, he mentioned that it is progressing well, although he did not anticipate it to be as mentally challenging as it has been. Despite his disappointment at having to miss the first competition, he remains determined to overcome this setback and return to the sport he loves.


Another fencer facing a similar situation is Anna Kun, the number 4 ranked Hungarian female foil fencer. Like Marini, she underwent surgery on her weapon arm, but she is optimistic about her recovery and is already making progress. Interestingly, she will be competing in Legnano using her left hand. She explained that she wants to stay motivated, maintain her competitiveness, and support her teammates. She sees this as an interesting and fun challenge.


While Kun is currently qualified for the Olympics in Paris, her absence will be felt by the Hungarian team, who finished second at the last European Championships and currently sits at the ninth spot in the Olympic qualification rankings. It is unfortunate when injuries affect athletes in these crucial moments, and we wish a speedy recovery to all the athletes dealing with such challenges.


The Italian men's epee team appears to be dominant, according to the team's coach, Dario Chiadò. Nevertheless, he emphasizes the importance of maintaining focus from the beginning of the qualification period and make the journey to Paris mathematically certain. After the team's impressive results last season, with the men's epee team winning the World Championships and securing a bronze in the European Championships, Chiadò has decided to maintain the same squads at the beginning of the season. However, he acknowledges that the season is long and may make adjustments based on the teams' dynamics.


In women's sabre, all eyes are on two Greek fencers, Theodora Gkountoura and Despina Georgiadou. At present, Theodora is qualified for Paris, while Despina, despite being ranked fourth in the World Rankings and fifth in the Olympic qualification rankings, is currently not qualified. With only one individual per country allowed to qualify, these two talented athletes will have to prove themselves to earn their ticket to Paris. However, there is still one remaining possibility for both of them to qualify - the team event, which introduces additional competition to the women's sabre discipline.


As the fencing World Cup season begins, the entire fencing community, including the European Fencing Confederation (EFC), is prepared to offer unwavering support to the athletes. The upcoming competitions provide a golden opportunity for fencers to showcase their skills and strive for excellence. The EFC and EFC President Giorgio Scarso send their warmest wishes and unified support to all participants, and the entire community will be eagerly cheering for their success throughout the season.