Olympic Qualification – Bonn Men’s Foil Update
Qualification for Tokyo 2020 resumed at the weekend in Bonn at the 48th Lion of Bonn Men’s Foil World Cup.
With all points now counting every match from the first round of the competition really mattered. Teams from Europe needed to consider not only their zonal opponents but also the Asian teams given Hong Kong’s great start to qualification.
Hong Kong came to Bonn placed third in the Olympic rankings but fell to Russia in the quarterfinals 45-41 and finished in sixth place. That meant they dropped out of the top four and guaranteed qualification but Korea battled their way through to the gold medal match, replacing them in the top four.
The USA won the tournament securing their berth at Tokyo 2020 but Europe’s focus was on the bronze medal match where Italy – Europe’s leading team – faced Russia, their closest opponents. Russia, with debutant Kirill Borodachev, prevailed, closing the gap with Italy significantly.
So, after the first men’s foil World Cup of the season, Italy remain in the top four and Russia remain in the European qualification place, meaning both teams will have three individual fencers battling in Tokyo plus a reserve for the team event at the next Olympics.
Of the chasing pack, Germany got the best result in Bonn, with Great Britain and Poland still in contention.
Europe’s additional individual places are currently held by Marcus Mepstead (GBR) and Benjamin Kleibrink (GER) who overtook Michal Siess (POL) with his performance in Bonn.