Dramatic Russian victory and miraculous French finish

Russia became world champion in women’s foil, while France managed to sit on the throne of men’s epée in today’s team events at the World Fencing Championships in Budapest. The last bouts in both finals remained memorable, but due to different reasons.

The final of the women’s foil team event wasn’t less exciting than any of the previous finals of this world championships. There were times when the Italian team, which reached the final ten times in a row was leading, while in other periods of the encounter the Russian team, which surprisingly only finished seventh last year, took the lead. In the end, the final bout which decided about the winner was between the last two Olympic champions, Elisa di Francisca and Inna Deriglazova, who won her third individual world championships title here on Friday. The Italian was leading the bout most of the time, but the Russian equalized in the last moment and won the match in extra-time to all her teammates’ delight.

“In 2013 I was here only as a fan at the world championships in Budapest, but I already had the aim of becoming world champion. It’s fabulous that it actually happened, and my dream came true” – Anastasiia Ivanova said after the final, who won her first world championships title. She also told about the feeling of following the final’s dramatic end. “I was above myself in the last bout. Once I wanted to cry and then I was filled with happiness, the end of the bout was like a rollercoaster. But I am happy for our victory, and that I won my first world championships title.”

The final in men’s epée featured a similarly tense battle between France and Ukraine, but “only” until the last bout. Yannick Borel stepped on the piste facing Anatolii Herey when the score was 35-35, but the Ukrainian world champion couldn’t stop the Frenchman. He kept on getting touches, and won the bout 10-2 in the end, which meant that France won the final with a score of 45-37.

“I only had one thing in my mind for the whole time that I wanted to become world champion and to win this bout” – Borel said after the victory. “This is our third team world championships titles, but I still can’t be bored of this feeling. We feel the same happiness as when we won it for the first time. Budapest is an amazing place, a beautiful city, I really like its atmosphere. It’s a great feeling to become world champions here” – the 30-year-old legend gushed.

The women’s sabre teams and men’s foil teams will fight for the medals on Tuesday, in the final day of the competition. The programme starts with the Round of 8, and the medal matches begin at 15:50 in the BOK Hall.

2019 FIE World Fencing Championships Budapest