The title holder reached the final in women’s sabre, but can only win bronze in men’s foil

The French national team can defend its title in the team event of women’s sabre at the World Fencing Championships in Budapest. However, the same thing won’t happen in men’s foil since Italy, the champion of the last three world championships can only go for the bronze this time.

The title holder French team won confidently against Ukraine featuring Saturday’s individual world champion Olga Kharlan, but their next bout against South Korea was a much more difficult encounter in the women’s sabre team event. Cecilia Berder and her teammates could make a comeback after a bad start in the semi-final, and managed to win by two touches, 45-43 in the end.

“We are very delighted with reaching the final. It was a tense bout against Korea, but we have been under pressure for the whole competition. It is difficult to step on the piste as a title holder, but our aim is to return home with the gold medals in our pockets. Russia has a very strong team, but if we perform as we have done so far, it shouldn’t be an issue” – Caroline Queroli said after their victory.

So, their opponent in the final will be Russia, since the team with seven world championships in the women’s sabre team event outruled Italy thanks to the amazing performance of Olga Nikitina. Therefore, the Russians qualified for the final by a much more confident victory (45-37) compared to France.

The Hungarian national team surprised everyone in the Round of 8, because even though Liza Pusztai won her bout by a significant difference like she did in the Round of 16, she couldn’t help her team win against Italy. However, the Hungarians defeated China and the favourite Ukraine after that, and finished in fifth place, collecting some very important points in the FIE World Rankings in view of the Olympic qualification.

“It was really difficult to step on the piste again after the unsuccessful encounter against Italy. It really pulled us down and it was hard to reach our best versions again, but we realized at some point that we needed to calm down otherwise we would be out. It was unbelievable what we achieved in these two bouts. We had the goal and the dedication, and there are no words for the fantastic audience. The team is very young, and we took and important step further at this world championships” – Anna Márton commented after the last match.

France will face the United States in the final of the men’s foil team event. Both teams won confidently in the Round of 8 and in the semis too. The French sent the Italians home, who were the winners of the last three world championships, while the Americans defeated Russia in the semi-final. 

“This Italian team is one of the best, if not the best in the world, they are the favourites against everyone” – the French Enzo Lefort praised the defeated opponent, who became individual world champion on Saturday.

„We were so united. We fenced actively and precisely, I felt like it was the key to our success. Now we start preparing for the final against the United States. This won’t be easy either, but we have already proved that we can defeat anyone here in Budapest.”

2019 FIE World Fencing Championships Budapest