Olympic Qualification – Budapest Grand Prix Men’s Epee Update
Budapest, Hungary hosted the last Epee Grand Prix to be included in Olympic qualification at the weekend.
With no team event at a Grand Prix event France, Italy, Switzerland and Ukraine remain in the automatic team qualifying places. Hungary continue to lead the race for the additional European team place.
Going into the event Russia’s Sergey Bida led the race for the two additional European spots whilst Bas Verwijlen of the Netherlands held the second place. Despite both fencers losing in the round of 32, they continue to lead the European race for individual qualification.
In the chasing pack Poland’s Radoslaw Zawrotniak made the round of 16 but with only one qualifier remaining the Polish fencer is too far back to remain a contender. The same goes for Israel’s Yuval Freilich and Yulen Periera of Spain.
However, the race may open up based on the team results at the final qualifier. Korea are in striking distance of the top four and could replace Ukraine. This would likely push Hungary out of the additional European place and thus bring Gergely Siklosi into play for European qualification. Russia could also move into a team qualifying position potentially pushing out one or both of Hungary and Ukraine. In that case both Siklosi and Ukraine’s Igor Reizlin may require the individual route.
All eyes will be on both the individual and team results at the final qualification event, the Buenos Aires World Cup, 20-22 March.