11th July 2011
There are just two days to go until the start of the 2011 European Fencing Championships in Sheffield, by far the biggest international fencing event to be held in the UK in living memory. Over 30 European nations will be represented, with more than 600 athletes taking part.
For up to date results and event information check www.eurofencing2011.com, and for a flavour of the athletes taking part and the possible medal contenders, see the following summary;
The top 8 in the world are all from Europe with Magdalena Piekarska (POL) (silver medal last year), Emese Szasz (HUN) and Laura Flessel-Colovic (FRA) (bronze medal last year) leading the way. Last year’s winner Imke Duplitzer (GER) is currently ranked 8th in the World.
Again, the top 8 in the world are all from Europe, headed up by Gauthier Grumier (FRA), Gabor Boczko (HUN) (silver last year) and Nikolai Novosjolov (EST). Last year’s winner Jean-Michel Lucenary (FRA) is ranked 4th in the World.
The Italians are the ones to watch. Three of the top four in the world are Elisa di Francisca (ITA) 1st, Valentina Vezzali (ITA) 2nd and Arianna Errigo (ITA) 4th. Vezzali is probably the biggest name in women’s fencing, especially as she is 37 years old.
Four big names here. Andrea Baldini (ITA), Andrea Cassara (ITA), Peter Joppich (GER) and Erwan Le Pechoux (FRA). Richard Kruse (GBR) took the bronze last year so he’s got a great chance too.
The USA are the power house in women’s sabre but obviously won’t be competing. Olga Kharlan (UKR) or Sophia Velikaia (RUS) could make the podium, as could Chrystall Nicoll (GBR).
The clear favourites for this are Alexey Yakimenko (RUS) and Nicolas Limbach (GER). They took gold and silver last year and they could do the same this year.