Olympic Qualification – Barcelona Women’s Epee Update
Russia, Poland and Italy Secure Olympic Team Qualification
Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification continued in Barcelona, Spain this weekend for the Women’s epee discipline.
Going into the event Poland, Russia and Italy occupied three of the top four automatic qualification spots, Estonia held the European place and Ukraine picked up the berth vacated because no African team was qualified.
Russia finished the team event in Barcelona in fourth place, losing to the USA (45-27) in the bronze medal match. Poland lost to Korea (27-26) at the quarterfinal stage but fought back to finish in sixth place. As a result both Russia and Poland remain inside the top four and are confirmed as qualified.
Italy lost to Hong Kong (35-34) in the round of 16 but fought back in the placings matches to finish ninth. This means that the USA leapfrog Italy into the top four but the Italians now occupy the additional European team place and are also now qualified.
Estonia lost to Hungary (35-34) in the round of 16 but stay ahead of Hungary who lost to Sweden (44-40) in the round of 32. Egypt are the highest place African team but remain outside the top 16 so Estonia are provisionally qualified in their place.
France have now also overtaken Ukraine by finishing seventh in Barcelona and they are now 20 points behind Estonia. With one remaining team qualifier in Tashkent (20-22 March) there is still a lot at stake. A good result for Italy will put them into the top four releasing the European berth. Mathematically, Estonia, France and Ukraine remain in the race.
On the individual front, Ana Maria Popescu of Romania went into the event leading the chase for the two extra European individual places. She was knocked out in the round of 32 but holds on to her lead. France’s Coraline Vitalis placed 33rd but it was enough for her to retain the second additional European individual place. However, with Ukraine dropping out of team qualification, Olena Kryvytska is now just 5 points behind Vitalis.
There are two more individual events to go. Plenty can change in that time but we will next see them in action at the Budapest Grand Prix, 6-8 March.