Olympic Qualification – Paris Men’s Foil Update
Men’s foil qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continued this weekend at the Paris World Cup in France.
Going into the event France and Italy sat in two of the automatic team qualification places with Russia occupying the additional spot for a European team.
France and Italy faced each other in the semi-finals in Paris with Italy taking a thrilling match 45-44. Italy finished second, losing to the USA (45-36) in the final whilst France beat Hong Kong (45-38) to finish third. The results see France remain in the second provisional qualification ahead of Italy in third. However, Italy are closing the gap in terms of points.
Russia had previously lost to Italy (45-37) in the quarterfinals but won their two placement matches against China (45-32) and Korea (45-35). They remain in the additional qualification place for teams from Europe. Germany, Great Britain and Poland all made the top 16 but fell further behind Russia. Whilst the race is still on mathematically, realistically they all need Russia to get into the top four at the expense of an Asian team at the last World Cup in Cairo (21-23 Feb).
Great Britain’s Marcus Mepstead and Benjamin Kleibrink of Germany led the race for the two additional individual European places and finished in the 32 and 64 respectively in France. That was enough to see them retain their provisional qualification status. However a top eight finish for Alexander Choupenitch of the Czech Republic makes him a real threat. He is now just eight points behind Kleibrink with one World Cup (Cairo) and two Grand Prix events (Turin, 7-9 Feb and Anaheim, 13-15 Mar) still to go.
The men’s foilists will next be in action at the Turin Grand Prix, 7- 9 February.