Olympic Qualification – Orleans Women’s Sabre Update
Qualification for the women’s sabre events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continued at the weekend in Orleans, France.
Going into the event Russia, France and Italy occupied three of the four automatic qualification places along with the South Korea, whilst Ukraine provisionally held the additional team place for Europe with Hungary just three points behind them.
Russia flew through the event taking the gold medal in fine style and extended their lead in the race for Olympic qualification. It was a different story entirely for France and Italy who both fell in the quarterfinals to European teams that are chasing them down. First France lost to Ukraine and then Hungary beat Italy. Neither of those teams could progress any further losing to Korea and Russia respectively but it means the European race is closer than it was before. It also meant that Hungary had the chance to close the gap on Ukraine in the bronze medal match but Ukraine were too strong in the end. The net result is that whilst France and Italy remain in the top four and Ukraine retain the additional European place, the gap between the three teams has been cut by 10 points.
Anna Marton of Hungary went to Orleans leading the race for the two additional individual European Olympic places from Romania’s Bianca Pascu. Marton went out in the round 64 in the individual tournament as Pascu finished in the quarterfinals. On top of that Greece’s Theodora Gkountoura made a top sixteen finish. The result is that Pascu now leads the European battle with Gkountoura in second and Marton relegated to third. Furthermore, Marton’s teammate, Liza Pusztai made the round of 32 in Orleans, putting her very much in the race, just 5 points behind Marton.