17.06.2019 0:00


Kharlan attributes European title to “lucky charm” sister’s presence


Today, Ukrainian Olga Kharlan claimed her sixth individual European crown in the German city of Dusseldorf.  She beat the in-form French fencer, Manon Brunet, 15-12 in a tight final as Russia’s World number one, Sofya Velikaya and Hungarian Anna Marton collected the bronze medals.

Kharlan came through the ranking round as second seed for the knockout phase and pushed through to the semi-finals in relative ease.  She faced Marton in the semi-finals, winning 15-10.

Russian Velikaya has recently returned to competitive action in a bid to win the Olympic title at Tokyo 2020, after silver medal “disappointment” at the last two Olympics.  She only dropped eleven hits in the ranking round, topping the seeding for the knockout stage.  Her route to the semi-finals was comfortable as she continued to show the fine form she has been in all season.  She went into the fight as firm favourite against Brunet who had to battle her way into the top four.  The Russian opened up what seemed like an insurmountable lead before Brunet impressively turned the match around to take a 15-11 win.

So, Kharlan faced a buoyant Brunet in the match for the 2019 title and knowing the danger she posed, came out on the attack.  The Ukrainian took an early lead but Brunet settled to level at 3-3.  Known for her tactical decision-making, Kharlan pulled away and led comfortably at the break.  In the second period Brunet switched her tactics, stopping Kharlan from attacking by pushing forwards from the starting line.  It worked well as she closed to within one point at 12-13 down.  Again, Kharlan dug deep and switched her tactics by changing the distance.  Brunet wasn’t to score again as Kharlan claimed a remarkable sixth European crown.

Speaking just before the medal ceremony, the new European Champion, who was holding back the tears said, “It is just amazing.  My last individual European medal was back in 2015.  This was a great return to the European podium and great preparation for the World Championships.  It was a tough day and I’m very tired but it’s so incredible because I missed this feeling.  I’ve worked very hard but I have to thank my coach and my supporters.  A special thanks also goes to my sister.  When she comes to an event I seem to win.  She is here today and it’s happened again!  She is my lucky charm.”

The men’s foil title was also decided today in Dusseldorf as Italy’s reigning World Champion, Alessio Foconi beat teammate and reigning Olympic Champion, Daniele Garozzo in the final.  Frenchman, Enzo Lefort and Russia’s Alexey Cheremisinov shared the bronze medal position.

The event continues tomorrow with the men’s epee and women’s foil individual events.



For further information please contact Karim Bashir (
Catch Sport, working in partnership on communications with the European Fencing Confederation.

 More pictures for day 1/(Photo Bizzi Team)