18.06.2019 0:00


London 2012 Champion Elisa Di Francisca back to her best at the 2019 European Championships

Today, 36 year old Italian and London 2012 Olympic Champion, Elisa Di Francisca claimed her fifth women’s foil European title in Dusselforf, Germany.  She beat Russian World number one, Inna Deriglazova 15-8 in the final with a combination of the right tactical approach and excellent execution.  World number two, also from Italy, Alice Volpi and France’s Ysaora Thibus picked up the bronze medals.

Di Francisca was almost flawless in the ranking round, winning all five of her fights and dropping just eleven points.  Such is the strength at the top of this discipline, despite her great start, she went into the knockout phase ranked only sixth.  The draw worked well for her and a no-nonsense 15-5 victory over Germany’s Leonie Ebert took her to the semi-finals.  There, she met World number five, Thibus and it was the toughest match of her day.  She came through it 15-13.

World number one and two, Deriglazova and Volpi were drawn in the other half of the table after the ranking round.  They eased through to meet each other in the semi-finals.  The Russian went into the match leading their head-to-head 11-2 but had to fight back from behind to win 15-11.

The final began with Di Francisca pressing the Russian at close distance, luring her in to make attacks.  She had good reason to trust her defence as she led 4-1 at the break.  When they came out for the second period, Deriglazova switched to a similar tactic but kept missing her ripostes and Di Francisca went 7-3 ahead.  The Italian then decided to turn to her attacking game and led 12-7 by the second break.  It was a show of more attacking intent in the final period from Di Francisca.  When her attack failed, she was so quick with the follow up, that Deriglazova was overwhelmed.  The winning hit was another superb attack from Di Francisca, taking her to a 15-8 victory and her fifth individual European crown.

Speaking after the final, Di Francisca said, “It feels great.  My footwork has not been good since my comeback but I have worked hard with my trainer and now it’s much better.  I fenced really well all day.  This was real fencing!”  Speaking about the future, in typical fashion she said, “Now we have to fence well to take the team medal.”

The event continues tomorrow with the men’s epee and women’s foil individual events.

For further information please contact Karim Bashir (
Catch Sport, working in partnership on communications with the European Fencing Confederation.
More pictures(Photo Bizzi Team