22.06.2019 0:00


Host nation, Germany saves it’s best to last in Dusseldorf



Today, fourth seeds Germany claimed their first European title at the 2019 edition of the Championships, on home soil in Dusseldorf.  They beat Hungary in the final as Italy claimed bronze by beating Russia in the third place play-off.

After a bye through the first round, the German team beat France 45-40 to set up a mouth-watering semi-final tie with top seeds Italy.  The Germans led 15-6 after the third leg but a typically strong comeback put the Italians 30-28 up with three legs remaining.  Germany fought back but trailed 39-40 going into the anchor leg.  A great fight followed which saw Benedikt Wagner take the host nations though to the final, 45-42.

In the other half of the draw, sixth seeds Romania took third seeds, Russia out in the quarterfinals but then lost to Hungary, the number two seeds, for a place in the final.  Italy eased into the lead in the bronze medal play-off against Romania and put in a solid and professional display to take the title 45-35.

The final began with a very vociferous home crowd cheering their team onto the piste but Hungary made the much better start to quieten them down.  They led 15-6 at the beginning of the fourth leg and Germany needed to take more hold of the match.  They did just that, closing the gap to 28-30 down going into the crucial final three legs.  Szabo and Hartung played their part in reeling the Hungarian team in and handed over a 40-34 lead to their anchor, Wagner.  Hungary’s double-Olympic Champion, Szilagyi came on to face him and impressively scored nine points but Wanger and Germany were not to be outdone, taking the gold and the European title 45-43.

That ended the Championships in Dusseldorf with congratulations going to the German Fencing Federation and their team for an excellent tournament.  The World Championships will be the last event of the season in Budapest, Hungary, starting on 15 July.