Photo courtesy of Denise Wilson

Monday, April 13, 2009

Men's foil teams - Italy sweep to gold

Italy completed a clean sweep of the men's foil titles at these championships, adding the team gold to the individual cadet and junior titles by beating USA 45-34. The Italians took a decisive 8 hit lead in the 4th fight by Foconi and although the Americans fought hard the result was never really in doubt from that point and Tomasso Lari duly finished off the Italian medal charge.

Russia takes women's epee gold

A tense technical and tactical battle in the women's epee team final Russia and Poland were virtually inseparable for most of the match. The Russians held a one hit lead going into the final fight at 30-29. A flurry of hits took Russia into a 4 hit lead at one stage and time was running out for the last Polish fencer and with just 8 seconds left Russia led 44-42 but two lightning attacks brought single lights for Poland and the match went into the extra minute. Russia had priority and as the Polish girl tried to press, the Russian coolly hit to leg to clinch the victory.

Final placings:
1. Russia
2. Poland
3. USA

Men's foil teams - Russia take bronze

Russia shrugged off the disappointment of a narrow semi-final defeat to take the bronze medal in the men's foil team event beating Korea 45-31. The Russians established a 20-9 lead by the end of the 4th fight and, despite a wobble in the 7th fight where the Koreans closed the gap to 5 points, Russia were soon back on track to claim the medal from an initial seeding of 14th.

Women's epee teams - USA clinch bronze

Hungary clawed back an early deficit to level the women's epee bronze medal play-off against USA at 35 all going into the final fight. A cagey first half kept the teams even but the American Hurley took a decisive 2 hit lead at 39-37 with a minute remaining and as Antal tried to catch up Hurley picked her off to take bronze for her team 45-40.

Junior Men's Foil - Italy and USA into final

Italy overcame a determined Korean team 45-35 in the semi-final of the junior men's foil team event.

The other semi-final was a much closer encounter with neither the giant-killing Russians nor USA able to establish a convincing lead and the final fight was level at 37-37 with just over a minute remaining. A flurry of hits followed and the Americans seemed to have taken the advantage with a 2 hit lead but Russia made a final frantic push to level again at 42 all before time ran out. Meinhardt of the USA had priority in the extra minute and finally clinched the match 43-42 with a calm riposte.

Russia will have regroup for their bronze medal match against Korea while Italy and USA prepare to battle for gold.

Women's epee teams semi-finals

Poland made short work of Hungary in the semi-final of the women's epee team event, winning 45-28 to progress to the final where they will fence Russia who had a relatively comfortable 45-34 win against the Americans. USA and Hungary will fence off for the bronze medal.

Ed Jefferies Interview - click here

Ed Jefferies, British silver medallist in the Junior Men's foil at the World Championships in Belfast talks about his performance, training, determination and ambition.

Men's foil team quarter-finals

Italy were in magnificent form to sweep aside Poland 45-16 in the first quarter-final and will meet Korea who controlled their match against China to win 45-34.

Russia continued to defy their initial lowly seeding to beat Ukraine 45-36 and will have USA in the semis as the Americans stretched away from Japan to run out comfortable 45-26 winners.

Women's epee team quarter-finals

Poland 45 beat Sweden 36
Hungary 45 beat Italy 42
USA 45 beat Ukraine 35
Russia 45 beat Estonia 27

Would love to give you some in-depth comment and analysis but I was watching the men's foil!

The semi-finals will be:
Poland v Hungary
USA v Russia

Men's foil teams last 16a

The British foilists lost 45-32 to Poland when, after a promising start, the match got away from them in the 4th, 5th and 6th fights, and Poland held a commanding lead to the end and will now face top seeds Italy in the quarter-finals after the Italians also won 45-32 against Slovakia. China beat Belarus 44-30, Ukraine beat Denmark 45-31, Japan beat Canada 45-30 and USA beat Egypt 45-38. The upset of the round was Russia comfortably beating 3rd seeds France 45-32 and undoubtedly the best match was the clash between Hungary and Korea. The match was close all the way but the Koreans edged 3 hits clear with less than a minute remaining but the last Hungarian went on the rampage and equalised at 44 all with 1 second remaining but in the extra minute Korea took the match with a single light to take their place in the last 8.

The quarter-final line-up is:

Italy v Poland
Korea v China
Russia v Ukraine
Japan v USA

Women's epee team last 16

Russia proved too strong for the British epeeists in the last 16, winning 45-21. Poland beat Czech Republics 45-31, Italy beat France 45-35, Hungary edged past Korea 45-44 and Ukraine had a similarly tense 44-43 win over Israel. USA beat neighbours Canada 35-26 and Estonia beat China 45-35. But special mention must go to the Sweden v Germany match which was level at 1 hit each after 3 fights and eventually went the way of the Swedes 17-16 in what can generously be described as a tense tactical battle.

The quarter-finals are:

Poland v Sweden
Italy v Hungary
Ukraine v USA
Estonia v Russia

Men's foil teams last 32s

In the matches in the last 32 stage of the men's foil teams, Denmark thrashed New Zealand 45-12 and Japan were even more ruthless in disposing of South Africa 45-10. Egypt beat Hong Kong 45-34, Slovakia beat Czech Republic 45-31, Hungary beat Brazil 45-35 and Belarus beat Portugal 45-39. In the closest match of the round Russia just edged past Holland 45-43.

The last 16 matches are:

Italy v Slovakia
Poland v Great Britain
Korea v Hungary
China v Belarus
France v Russia
Ukraine v Denmark
Canada v Japan
USA v Egypt

Women's epee teams last 32

The Great Britain women's epeeists beat Switzerland 45-36 to progress into the last 16 where they will meet 2nd seeds Russia. Most of the matches in the last 32 round were fairly straightforward - France beat Japan 41-24, Hungary beat Brazil 45-29, Israel beat Austria 45-28, Canada beat Holland 45-31 and China beat South Africa 45-16 but Czech Republic only just edged out Hong Kong 45-44.

The last 16 matches are:

Poland v Czech Republic
Sweden v Germany
Italy v France
Hungary v Korea
Ukraine v Israel
Canada v USA
Estonia v China
Great Britain v Russia

Day 9

The 9th and final day of the World cadet and junior championships sees women's epee and men's foil teams in action.

There are 23 teams in the women's epee with the top 3 seeds Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Great Britain are seeded 15th and face Switzerland in the last 32 stage.

In men's foil the top seeds are Italy, USA and France with Great Britain seeded 8th and a bye into the last 16 where they face Poland.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Italy have fenced their way to the gold medal in the final of the men's epee team event against the Ukraine. In a battle of weapons and wits the Italians took an early lead but by match 5 the score had equalized to 22-22 with some spectacular hits coming from both teams. Ukraine pulled back a 1 point lead by the end of match 6 but matches 7 and 8 saw an uncanny set of double hits, leading to scores of 35-35 right up to 40-40 by the end of match 8. The Ukraine held on with a spirited defence but Italy pulled just into the lead lunging their way to victory and a gold medal with a final score of 45-42.

To recap, the medallists today are:

Ladies' sabre:

Gold - Ukraine
Silver - Italy
Bronze - Russia

Mens' Epee:

Gold - Italy
Silver - Ukraine
Bronze - Hungary
Ukraine have beaten Italy to win the gold medal in the final of the ladies' sabre team event. While Italy started out in the lead with a score of 8-5 after the second match, Ukraine soon pulled ahead in match 3 and remained in the lead with some superbly delivered lunges. The gap widened after match 7 to Ukraine 35 Italy 24 but silver medallists Italy narrowed it again with some brilliant attacks in the 8th match to Ukraine 40 Italy 32. Ukraine fenced their way to victory with a final score of 45-35 and the gold medal.
Hungary are the winners of the bronze medal in today's mens' epee team event. Korea's admirable defence wasn't quite enough to prevent Hungary, who are seeded 11, having a comfortable lead in every match of the game, but the number 21 seeds Korea put up a very admirable performance with some spectacular lunging. By match 5 the score was Hungary 25 Korea 14 and Hungary stayed ahead to come out triumphant 45-35.
The ladies' sabre fight for 3rd place was won by Russia (seeded 6)in a clash of blades that had France (seeded 5) in the lead from the start. Russia were never more than 4 points behind France, but in the 7th match Russia suddenly pulled ahead with a score of 35-32. France recalimed a one point lead in match 8 but the final attack by Russia meant a bronze medal and a winning score of 45-42.
The Ukraine pulled off a spectacular victory against Hungary in their Mens' epee semi final game. The score for both teams climbed steadily and by the end of match 7 the score was Ukraine 31 Hungary 32. After no change in the score for match 8 the pace quickened in match 9 with some superbly delivered lunges bringing the score to 37-37 with 2 mins 10 secs to go. The Ukraine pulled ahead suddenly and clinched the victory with a final hit, winning 45-43.

Italy enjoyed a win by a considerable margin over Korea with a final score of 45-28.
Some very impressive bladework was seen during the mens' epee quarter final between Italy and France. It was a tense game with the scores equalising to 29-29 during match 7. Italy then pulled ahead in match 8 with a score of 35-31, but France were never far behind and closed the gap to Italy 40 France 39 with some exciting clashes during match 9. Italy however pulled further ahead again and won the game 45-41.

Korea and Germany enjoyed a close game towards the end of match 9 when the scores were 44-44. The match did not go to priority however and Korea scored the winning point.

Canada lost to Ukraine 24-20 in a more leisurely game while Hungary were victorious in their game with Russia coming out with a strong lead of 45-21.
Some very close matches in the mens' epee 16 event - France narrowly beat Switzerland 37-36, Italy just pulled ahead to beat Israel 45-42, Czech Republic lost to Korea 45-43 and Germany won their match against Finland in a close 44-43.
The USA lost to Hungary by a considerable margin in a score of 45-29 as did Britain who were beaten by the Ukraine 45-22. Russia enjoyed a victory over China scoring 45-36 and Canada had a close shave with Belarus but came out top 27-26.
France and Poland had a close start in the ladies' sabre quarter finals and the scores stayed close until they reached 20-20 by the start of the 5th match. France however pulled steadily ahead and won the event 45-37. Other scores in the quarter finals: Ukraine beat USA 45-37, China lost to Italy 45-36 and Russia were victorious in their game with Hungary also with a score of 45-37.

There was an exciting match between France and the Ukraine in the ladies' sabre semi-finals when the score was 42-42 in the 9th match. Ukraine clinched the victory at the last minute, coming out top with 45-42.

Also in the semi-finals Italy beat Russia by a considerable margin. In the 6th match Italy were ahead 29-13, and despite the Russian team gaining more points in the next two matches Italy remained steadily ahead and won the game 45-27.
More results for the ladies' sabre 16: Hungary beat Azerbaidjan 45-27, Russia enjoyed a strong victory over Spain 45-31, China beat Kazakhstan 45-37 and Italy were victorious in their match against Britain with a score of 45-19.

Good news for the Great British team though in the mens' epee 32 - the team lagged behind all the way through their match with Kazakhstan until the last match when Ben White pulled ahead to a nail-biting 44-44 score. Priority went to Kazahstan but Ben held his nerve to score the winning point.

There was a close match between China and Sweden with Sweden scoring hits in the last few seconds, pulling up their score. China held the lead though and won the match 38-36.
Some results for the ladies' sabre team event, which is down to the table of 16: Ukraine have beaten Islande (45-21), the USA team won their event against South Korea 45-38, France beat Hong Kong 45-37, and Poland came out top against Germany 45-38. The other 4 ladies sabre bouts are taking place right now - more results soon.
Welcome to the second day of team event - mens' epee and womens' sabre.
New Zealand, seeded 31, came out top when they fenced Costa Rica, seeded 34, in the first mens' epee round early this morning - well done the Kiwis!

Iran beat Azerbaidjan during the same event. The two countries are seeded 33 and 32 respectively.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hungarians take sabre team title

Hungary won the men's team sabre gold beating Korea 45-36. They steadily built their lead although the Koreans clung to the hope that one big performance could bring them back into the reckoning. However the Magyars were not to be denied and individual silver medallist Szilagyi finished the match off in fine style.

USA win women's foil team gold

USA defeated Italy 45-40 in the women's foil team final. The match had a cautious start with the Italians holding a narrow lead through the first 5 fights but in the sixth Nicole Ross won 9-3 to put the Americans 29-25 up. Italy roared back to level at 31 all but Ross again opened up a big lead with another 9-3 win to take the score to 40-34 and cadet gold medallist Nzingha Prescod finished the match off to give the world junior title to the USA.

Women's foil - bronze to Russia

France took an early lead in the 3rd place play-off being 13-8 up after the 3rd fight but Russia clawed their way back into the match and took the lead at 24-23 after the 7th fight. Ivanova scored 6-1 in the 8th to make it 30-24 and the lead was maintained in the last fight for Russia to take bronze 38-32.

Men's sabre - Germany take bronze

Germany beat Spain 45-38 to win the 3rd place play-off in the men's sabre team event.

Women's foil semis - Italy and USA into final

Italy had to stage a big comeback against France to progress to the women's foil team final. Italy were trailing 22-10 at one stage but Volpi went into overdrive to take the lead at 24-23 by the end of the 5th fight. France hung on gamely but the Italians were on a roll and the top seeds eventually won 45-39.

In the other semi-final USA were always in control, being a 12 hit lead and although Russia pegged them back to some extent Prescod closed out with commendable efficiency to win the match for the Americans 45-34.

Women's Foil quarter-finals

Mostly routine stuff in the women's foil team quarters with the big guns progressing smoothly into the semis. Italy were comfortable winners against Korea 45-25 and Russia were always in control as they beat Japan 38-19 while USA beat Poland 45-22. Only France were given a decent workout as Egypt battled hard to stay in contention but eventually the French clinched the win 45-39. Semi-final line-up is Italy v. France and Russia v. USA.

Men's sabre teams - Hungary and Korea into final

Hungary dominated their semi-final against Germany and ran out comfortable winners 45-29.

Korea looked well in control against Spain early on but they let a 7 hit lead slip away as the match levelled at 40-40 before the last Korean steadied his nerves to take the match 45-42.

Germany and Spain will fight off for the bronze medal before the finalists take centre stage.

Women's foil teams last 16s

A very quick update because the men's sabre semi-finals are under way and the Ophardt results seem to be having a nap! Italy beat the Brits 45-20 and will face Korea in the last 8 after the Koreans out out Austria. France beat Ukraine and Egypt overcame Hungary to make a FRA v. EGY quarter-final. Russia thrashed Holland 45-22 and now take on Japan who beat China. Poland beat the Romanians and now have USA who made short work of the Czech Republic 45-13.

Men's sabre team quarter-finals

Hungary swept aside Canada 45-32 and will face Germany in the first semi-final of the men's sabre team event. The Germans edged a tense battle against Italy 45-43, a match that could have gone either way right up to the last hit. Korea knocked out USA 45-37 and their next opponents will be Spain who continued their giant-killing by knocking out 2nd seeds Ukraine 45-40. The Spaniards led 40-33 going into the last fight but a Ukrainian fightback meant a nervous but ultimately successful finish for the Spanish team who started the event as 10th seeds.

Men's Sabre last 16s

Great Britain's sabreurs found Hungary too strong and bowed out at the last 16 stage 45-35. The Hungarians now face Canada in the quarter-finals after they beat Belarus 45-37. Italy over-powered Georgia 45-29 to meet Germany who defeated Poland 45-38. Korea beat China 45-34 and USA beat France 45-41 to set up a quarter-final clash. Spain upset the seedings to put out Russia 45-37 and will now face Ukraine who comfortably best Japan 45-24.

Women's foil teams update

The GB women strode past Canada 45-35 to book a place in the last 16 against top seeds Italy. Also through are Ukraine who thrashed South Africa 45-7 and now face France, Egypt beat Denmark 45-28 to meet Hungary, Holland beat Hong Kong 45-22 to meet Russia and the Czech Republic beat Slovakia 45-39 and now face the USA. Amongst the teams that had a bye into the last 16, Austria face South Korea, China take on Japan and Poland have Romania.

Keith Smith Interview - click here

Keith Smith, the President of British Fencing, talks to the blog about the Worlds Cadet and Junior Fencing Championships 2009 in Belfast, his role as President and the future of the sport in the UK.

Note: you will need to play this interview in Windows Media Player, Real Player or similar otherwise Keith and I sound like Mickey and Minnie Mouse having a chat!

Men's sabre last 32

Great Britain are safely through into the last 16 after a comfortable victory 45-33 over Turkey. The team of Alex Crutchett, Maiyuran Ratneswaran and Nat Lewis quickly established a 10 hit lead and protected it for the rest of the fight. The team now faces top seeds Hungary in the last 16.

Also through to the last 16 are Georgia who beat Azerbaidjan 45-33, Poland beat who Iran 45-18 and China after beating the Czech Republic 45-21. The final match to finish in the second wave was a close affair between Hong Kong and Japan. After the first two fights the Japanese had a 6 hit advantage which they saw overhauled as they were outscored by 7 hits by Hong Kong in the next two fights. At the end of each of the next two fights the lead had switched, but a Japanese bagel in fight 7 had given Hong Kong a 7 hit advantage. The Hong Kong team consolidated their advantage and went into the final fight 40-31 ahead. Not downhearted the Japanese closer scored 5 hits without reply, and after a hit for the Hong Kong team, scored the next 8 to lead 44-41. Just enough time for another hit from Hong Kong before the Japanese complete the comeback and take the victory 45-42. Excellent stuff!

First day of team events - men's sabre and women's foil

The team events start today with men's sabre and women's foil. There are 21 teams entered in each. Teams are seeded from the results of the individual competition.

For men's sabre Hungary are top seed with Ukraine second. The British team is seeded 16th and will face Turkey in the last 32 at 8.30am.

In the women's foil event Italy are top of the seedings with the USA in second place. Great Britain is again seeded 16th and meets Canada in the last 32 at 9.30am.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lari takes foil title

Ed Jefferies was stopped at the last by Tommaso Lari as the Italian lifted the Junior men's foil title 15-13. The match was fenced at a frantic pace but Lari always held the lead and in the end Ed couldn't quite manage to haul him back. Ed, from Dingwall in Scotland, was bidding to become the first British fencer to become junior world champion since 1976.

Women's epee final

Yujie Sun marhces into a 12-5 lead at the second break. Sun scores the next three hits to win 15-5. Enough said, the Chinese pommeller outclassed the rest of the field, well done Yujie Sun!

The fight was expertly refereed by Mike Thornton from the UK.

MF semis

Italian top seed Tommaso Lari beat team-mate Alessio Foconi 15-9 in an ill-tempered first semi-final of the men's foil. Lari steadily built a lead to 8-2 which mostly maintained to the end of the fight.

In the second semi-final home favourite Ed Jefferies was given a rousing reception and took an early 3 hit lead against Gerek Meinhardt (USA) which he held to go into the first break 6-3 up. In the second period Ed built a 13-8 lead before the American stormed back to 13-12 but Ed again showed enormous calm to close out the fight 15-13 and set up the final clash with Lari.

Women's epee semi final

In the first semi final between the two Polish competitors left in the competitions Nelip was ahead at the first break and scores were still close at the second break. Nelip pulled ahead of Mosler in the final period winning 15-9.

The second semi between Yujie Sun (CHN) and Pochkalova (UKR) was reasonably close throughout before Sun scored the final two hits to win 15-11.

Sun and Nelip into the final!

Jefferies holds his nerve

Ed Jefferies held his nerve to win his quarter-final against Lee (KOR) after surrendering an 8-2 lead as the Korean charged back to level the scores at 10 all at time. Jefferies had the priority in the extra minute and as Lee pressed for the hit he needed, Ed picked him off with 5 seconds left on the clock. In the semi-final he will face Gerek Meinhardt (USA) after the American best Fausser (FRA) 15-9.

The other semi will be between the Italians Tommaso Lari and Alessio Foconi after Lari beat Shi (CHN) 15-11 and Foconi eased past Braun of Germany 15-6.

Men's foil last 16s

Brit Ed Jefferies marched into the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 15-12 victory over American Chamley-Watson. He will face Korea's Seung Woong Lee who defeated Robert Gatai 15-11.

Top seed Lari (ITA) beat compatriot Giorgio Avola 15-12 and Lari's next opponent will be Jialuo Shi (CHN) who beat Daniel Gomez of Mexico 14-13 in extra time.

Alessio Foconi (ITA) strolled past Canadian Anthony Prymack 15-4 and will face Marius Braun (GER) who eliminated Moon of Korea 15-10.

Completing the quarter-finals are Paul Fausser (FRA) who beat Volodymyr Koltygo(UKR) 15-10 and Gerek Meinhardt (USA) winner over no. 2 seed Helissey of France.

Men's foil last 32s

Ed Jefferies stormed into the last 16 with a convincing 15-7 win over Nicholas Choi (HKG). He will meet American Miles Chamley-Watson for a place in the quarter-finals.

Top seed Tomasso Lari (ITA) just edged past Miyake (JPN) 15-14 and he is joined by no. 2 seed Jean Tony Helissey of France. Marius Braun (GER) defeated no. 4 seed Sinoracki (POL) 15-14 in a desperately close fight and Paul Fausser of France upset no. 7 seed Pawel Osmanski 15-10 to complete a miserable round for the Poles.

Women's epee quarter finals

In the first quarter finals things were very close until 7 all when Ewa Nelip (POL) scored 5 hits in a row on Soon Hwa Lee (KOR) to lead 12-7. The Korean only got two more points before Nelip ran out a 15-9 victor.

Nelip will now face contrywoman Dominika Mosler whose fight against Evgenia Seregina (RUS) followed a similar path. Seregina led 6-4 before Mosler scored 5 hits in a row to lead 9-6. The Russian got one hit in before Mosler went on another 5 hit rampage to lead 14-7. Seregina pulled one hit back but Mosler took the next to win 15-8.

In the other half of the draw Yujie Sun (CHN) beat Julia Zuikova (EST). The Chinese scored three hits in a row after leading 12-11 to come out a 15-11 victor. Facing Sun will be Anfisa Pochkalova (UKR) who was always ahead against Il Jeong Choi (KOR) and eventually won 15-10.

Semi finals start at 6.30pm this evening.

Men's foil last 64

Top seed Tomasso Lari (ITA) is through to the last 32 after beating Babaoglu (TUR) 15-1 and second seed Jean-Paul Tony-Helissey (FRA) had a similarly easy 15-3 victory over Timur Arslanov (RUS). The big upset so far is world number one Dmitry Zherebchenko (RUS) going out 15-10 to Volodymyr Koltygo (UKR).

British fortunes were mixed. Marcus Mepstead unfortunately lost to Chen Li of China. The Chinese opened up a gap in the middle of the fight and Marcus was not able to close the gap. Ed Jefferies however destroyed 14th seed Orlando Salazar (ESP) 15-4 and now faces Nicholas Choi (HKG) in the last 32.

Women's epee last 16

Poland's Eva Nelip beat world number one Violetta Kolobova (RUS) 15-11 to make the last 8, where she will face Soon Hwa Lee (KOR), the conquerer of number one seed Dabrowa (POL), who beat Brazilian Cleia Gulhon 15-13.

5th seed Evgenia Seregina beat Denmark's Karin Hooge 15-8 and now will face 4th seed Dominika Mosler (POL) who beat Kseniya Pantelyeyeva (UKR) 15-7.

Susannah Scanlan (USA) did a lot better than others against Yujie Sun (CHN) but it was still not enough and the Chinese progresses 15-9. Joining her in the last 8 is Julia Zuikova (EST) who had a dramatic 15-14 win over world number 2 Courtney Hurley (USA).

Second seed Rosella Fiamingo also had a very close fight, but things did not go the way of the number two seed and she was beaten 15-14 by world number 4 Anfisa Pochkalova (UKR). Meeting her in the quarters is In Jeong Choi (KOR) who put out world number 10 Erika Kirpu (EST) 15-9.

Brit Update MF

Ed Jeffries eased past Swede Oskar Weinberger 15-8 and into the last 64 but Rhys Melia was eliminated 15-12 by Volodomyr Koltygo (UKR) in a tense match marred by 2 unnecessary red cards for dissent late in the fight including the final point.

Junior Men's Foil poule results

Only 6 fencers went undefeated in the 17 poules to emerge as the top seeds as the 116 fencers were cut to 84 - 1. Lari (ITA) 2. Tony Helissey (FRA) 3. Chamley-Watson (USA) 4. Sinoracki (POL) 5. Jorgensen (DEN) 6. El Sayed (EGY).

British foilists all made the cut with Marcus Mepstead winning 5 out of 6 to get a bye into the last 64 as 15th seed. Ed Jeffries won 3 from 5 which gets him 51st seeding and a fight with Weinberger (AUT) in the 128, while Rhys Melia was 3 up 3 down for 55th seed and a 128 match with Ukrainian Koltygo.

Women's epee last 32

First big upset of the day, top seed Dabrowa (POL) is gone, beaten 15-13 by Soon Hwa Lee (KOR). No upsets for world number 1 and 2 Violetta Kolobova (RUS) and Courtney Hurley (USA), both progressed as a result of 15-9 victories over Emma Vaggo (SWE) and Cheryl Jahn (GER) respectively.

Third seed Yujie Sun (CHN) is through comfortably, having only dropped 6 hits in her last 64 and 32 bouts. Fourth seed Mosler (POL) had a much closer fight against Dominika Doubova (CZE) but emerged a 15-13 victor. Second seed Fiamingo (ITA) is also through against France's Jeanne after a very close match, the final score 15-14, Fiamingo having been 14-12 down.

Women's epee last 64

No huge upsets so far as all four top seeds are through to the last 32 and the four highest ranked at the start are all also comfortably through.

It is bad news for the British girls though. First up Corinna Lawrence was put out 15-9 by a fired up Zvereva (RUS). Next Hannah Lawrence fenced Baranikova (SVK) and was also eliminated, losing 15-6. Finally Caitlin Chang faced Dominika Doubova (CZE) and although it was a close fight the Czech pulled one hit ahead to lead 12-11. Three doubles followed by a single for Doubova was enough to close the fight out.

Women's epee poules

Coming out on top after the poules was Katarzyna Dabrowa (POL) followed by Rossella Fiamingo (ITA), Yujie Sun (CHN) and Dominika Mosler (POL). World number one Kolobova (RUS) dropped a fight and is 9th seed, closely followed by Hurley (USA) who is 11th.

For the Brits Caitlin Chang was four up two down with a plus three indicator and Corinna Lawrence was the same, with a plus two indicator. Hannah Lawrence was three up three down, all three had poules of seven. Caitlin and Corinna are 36th and 37th whilst Hannah is 46th. All have byes through the 128 and in the 64 Caitlin fences 29th seed Dominika Doubova (CZE), Corinna has Yana Zvereva (RUS) and Hannah has Slovakia's Dagmar Baranikova.

Here is a picture of Laura Stahli (SUI) in full fleche against Courtney Hurley (USA) who is stepping back to avoid. It doesn't work and Stahli makes the hit and pulls back a 4-2 defecit to win the fight.

Day 6 Women's epee and men's foil

It's day 6 here in Belfast, the final day of the individual events.

Up first at 8am is women's epee. Russian Violetta Kolobova heads the seedings with Courtney Hurley from the USA in second. Anfisa Pochkalova (UKR) and Julia Zuikova (EST) make up the top four. Cadet World Champion Dorina Budai (HUN) is also in the field as is bonze medallist Anqi Xu (CHN). The British campaign rests in the hands of Corinna Lawrence, Caitlin Chang and Hannah Lawrence, all of whom are seeded between 25 and 42 from the 102 strong field.

Following them at 10am is the men's foil. World number 1 Dmitry Zherebchenko (RUS) leads the way, followed by Tommaso Lari (ITA), Suguru Awaji (JPN) an Pawel Osmanski (POL). Ed Jefferies is the highest ranked British entry at 15, but team mates Rhys Melia and Marcus Mepstead are both within the top 44 of the 116 fencing today.

Good luck!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Adamov races to victory!

Adamov is again in no mood to hang about and with less than 2 minutes gone he is 10-5 up. The hits just keep on coming until the Russian wins 15-9 with 17 seconds left to go in the first period!

Kharlan wins the gold!

It was tit for tat stuff for the first 14 hits with Kharlan holding a slender 8-6 advantage at the break.Kharlan was ablt to extend the lead to three hits, but was pegged back to 10 apiece. Kharlan then stepped up a gear to lead Vecchi 14-10 before the Italian was able to reply with 4 hits of her own to tie it up. The Olympic team gold medallist from Beijing then finally landed a final attack just ahead of her opponent and the video confirmed Kharlan as Junior World Champion.

Men's epee semi finals

The first semi final was an all Russian affair. They didn't seem to want to hang about and Glebko raced into a 7-4 lead before Adamov pulled back to level. Glebko scored once more before the end of the first period and after the break the near frantic pace of scoring continued until Adamov's quick hand and accurate point took him to a 15-10 victory s0 seconds into the second period.

The second semi pitched France's Marchal against Ukraine's Herey. Herey seems to have fully recovered from whatever was troubling him in the quarters and he steadily builds a 7 hit lead without giving away any hits in the first period. Marchal gets his name on the scoreboard in the second, but he's only treading water and Herey is 12-5 up when the referee calls non-combativity to move the fight straight into the final period. A relative flurrey of hits then ensues, mostly doubles, before Herey claims the victory 15-10.

Women's sabre semi finals

In the first semi Vecchi easily beat Peto and the second semi between Kharlan and Navarro was not much closer with the Ukranian winning 15-10.

men's epee quarters

Julian Seidl's run comes to an end as he is beaten by Anton Adamov (RUS) 15-14 in a very exciting match that took just a shade longer than 3 minutes. Siedl initially took the lead before he was pegged back and the Russian picked up the advantage. Seidl pulled off a succession of hits to lead 14-13 before the Russian hit back with two of his own to beat the Czech.

He will fence fellow Russian Anton Glebko in the first semi final after his countryman had an easy victory 15-5 over Seidl's countryman Richard Pokorny.

Virgile Marchal had a similarly easy victory over second seed Boyadzhiev (BUL), the Frenchman winning 15-5. He fences Anatoliy Herey (UKR) who overcame an injury break to beat Lahtinen 15-10.

Semi's coming up at 6pm.

Men's epee last 16

At the top of the table Julian Seidl (CZE) marches on. He beat Broniszewski (POL) 15-12 and will now face Anton Adamov (RUS) in the quarter finals.

Richard Pokorny (CZE) came through a 13-12 victor against Frenchman Romain Courtois and has now drawn Anton Glebko (RUS) who beat Joakim Vonen (NOR) 13-8.

6th seeded Lahtinen (FIN) beat the USA's Corwin Duncan 15-13 and fences Anatoly Herei (UKR) in the last 8 courtesy of the latters 15-14 victory over Sazonau (BLR).

Second seed Boyadzhiev (BUL) is also through 15-11 against Estonia's Vassifov and will meet Virgile Marchal (FRA) in the quarters following his 15-12 victory over Bert De Mets (BEL).

Men's epee last 32

Bad news for Britain's Ben White as he is beaten by France's Virgile Marchal 15-6. Although he kept in touch at the start of the fight, the Frenchman launced a series of superb attacks to extend the lead and close the fight out.

Top seed Julian Seidl (CZE) goes through to the last 16, 15-7 against South Africa's Emil Schroder. He now faces Filip Broniszewski (POL) who was seeded 81st and beat 80th seeded Fahed Hasan (KUW) in the last 32.

Second seed Kristian Boyadzhiev (BUL) just made it past early favourite Dimitry Prokhorov (ISR) 15-14. Sixth seeded Lahtinen (FIN) is now the next highest seeded fencer left in the draw as he beat Slovenia's Zurpancic 15-6.

There are now only four fencers in the last 16 were originally seeded to progress that far in the competition.

Women's Sabre Quarter Finals

In the first quarter final Irene Vecchi (ITA) beat number one seed Julia Gavrilova (RUS) 15-8. The number 9 seed will now face Hungary's Reka Peto who ended the run of fiesty Romanian Mihaela Bulica.

In the other half of the draw Olga Kharlan (UKR) was an easy 15-3 winner over Katarzyna Kedziora (POL). Her opponent for the semi final had a tougher time, Araceli Navarro only coming through 15-14 against China's Fei Li.

The semi's are at 5.30pm this evening.

Men's epee last 64

It is good news for Britain's Ben White who fenced a very contolled fight against 10th seed Vitali Sokolovski (BLR). Although never more than a couple of hits in it Ben found himself 13-11 down halfway through the final period. Ben then scored four hits over the next 90 seconds to run out a 15-13 victor.

Not good news for Britain's other fencer in the last 64, Jon May. Fencing Kenan Jussifov from Estonia the match was very close up until 11-10 to the Estonian. Jussifov then scored the next four hits to win 15-10.

Whilst the top two seeds progressed the third and fourth seeds, Boreyko (UKR) and Hanswikkel (HUN) were both beaten. World number one Luca Ferraris (ITA) is also out, to Kevin Mo of the USA.

Women's sabre last 16

Top seed Gavrilova (RUS) has an easier time of it this round beating Jae-Yeun You (KOR) 15-5. It is not good news for third seed Sinigaglia (ITA) who loses to early favourite Olga Kharlan 15-9, and similarly fourth seed Caroline Vloka (USA) loses to Reka Peto (HUN) 15-11.

After taking out 5th seed Reka Benko (HUN) Mihaela Bulica (ROM) comes through a very close match against Poland's Marta Puda. At 14-14 it took Bulica four attempts to close out the match with a single light after four hits were called together.

As the quarter finals get underway there are eight different nations represented.

Men's epee 128 - mixed fortunes for Brits

The two Brits in the last 128 of the men's epee both had lengthy fights going well into the third period.

James Harris faced Vadim Anokhin (RUS) and went into the lead immediately. He held the lead, and was at one point 12-9 up, before the Russian got four hits on the bounce to lead 13-12. They then traded hits until the Russian squeezed out a 15-14 victory - tense stuff!

Ben White fenced Edvinas Nefas (LTU) and although the Lithuanian initially held the lead, Ben reeled him in at 5-5 before opening his own lead to 13-8. Nefas scored the next three hits to reduce the defecit to 2 at which point the fencers scored two double hits leaving Ben the winner 15-13.

Ben now faces 10th seed Sokolovski (BLR) whilst Jon May has Jussifov (EST) in the last 64.

Women's Sabre Last 32

Top seed Gavrilova (RUS) comes through a close match against Ra Jin Lee (KOR) 15-13 but fifth seed Reka Benko (HUN) is not so fortunate, losing 15-11 to Mihaela Bulica (ROM). Second seed Cecilia Berder (FRA) is upset by Germany's Lea Scholten, losing 15-13, but third seed Sinigaglia (ITA) gets through 15-13 and fourth seed Caroline Vloka (USA) has an easier ride through 15-9.

Early favourite Kovaleva (RUS) falls 15-11 to Hungary's Reka Peto but Olga Kharlan (UKR) goes through comfortably 15-5 against Rossella Gregorio (ITA).

Men' epee poules

It's all going according to plan for Luca Ferraris as the top seed wins all of his poule fights. 2nd seed Garozzo drops one but things are not so good for third Prokhorov as he won just two fights from 6, the opposite of fourth seed Rosello who dropped two fights.

Top seed after the poules though is Julian Seidl (CZE). Bulgaria's Kristian Boyadzhiev is second with Denys Boryeko (UKR) third and Mark Hanzwikkel (HUN) fourth.

Jon May leads the way for the Brits with a fantastic 5 victories from 6 fights, May just dropping his first fight. He is now 15th seed and has a bye through the round of 128. Ben White was three victories from 5 and James Harris 2 from 5. Ben is 55th and has Edvinas Nefas (LTU) in the 128 and James is 83rd Seed and faces Vadim Anokhin (RUS).

The picture shows Ben White fleching and hitting Karl Gardner (CAN) on his way to a 5-3 victory over the tall Canadian pommeller.

Davies and Williams out in last 64

Both Jess Davies and Sophie Williams lost their last 64 fights. Sophie was up first and had 17th seed Marina Piazi (GRE). Although the Greek went ahead Sophie pulled it back and although clearly in some discomfort she led 14-13 before the Greek levelled and then closed the very tense fight out 15-14 on a single light.

Jess fenced 34th seed Lea Scholton (GER) and although she went into an early lead the German was able to change the distance and pull clear. Jess pegged her back with four hits in a row, but it was not enough and the German upped her game again to win 15-8.

Women's sabre poules

After the poules it is good news for 4th ranked Reka Benko (HUN) who wins all of her fights for the loss of 9 hits in a poule of 6 and is now 5th seed. Kovaleva (RUS) and Kharlan (UKR) both drop one fight from five, but Mercado Mendez is three up three down.

Coming out on top after the poules is Julia Gavrilova (RUS). Cecilia Berder (FRA) is second with Lucrezia Sinigaglia (ITA) and Caroline Vloka (USA) in third and fourth.

Jessica Davies leads the way for the Brits with three wins from 5 and is ranked 31st and fences Lea Scholten (GER) in the last 64.

She is followed by Sophie Williams who won 2 fights from 6 and is 48th seed facing Marina Paizi (GRE).

Kira Roberts was just one victory from five and misses the cut to 56, she finishes 58th.

The picture shows Jessica Davies scoring a riposte against Bilgin (TUR) on her way to a 5-0 victory.

Day 5

It's day five of the championships and we have reached the halfway point.

First up today is junior women's sabre. The top 4 in action are Melanie Mendez Mercado (PUR), Olga Kharlan (UKR), Viktoriya Kovaleva (RUS) and Reka Benko (HUN). Also fencing is newly crowned cadet world champion, Diamond Wheeler (USA) who is seeded 15th for the event. Brits in action are Kira Roberts, Jess Davies and Sophie Williams. Poules are underway at 8.30am.

Men's epee poules start at 9.30am and the top seeded fencers are Luca Ferraris (ITA), Enrico Garozzo (ITA), Dimitry Prokhorov (ISR) and Pau Rosello (ESP). Brits in action are Ben White, Jon May and James Harris.

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hartung powers to men's sabre title

Max Hartung of Germany overpowered Hungary's Szilagyi to win the men's sabre final 15-10. The German built his lead steadily through the fight to the increasing frustration of Szilagyi and forced his opponent to fence a game that suited Hartung far better, eventually neutralising the Hungarian's speed to claim the world crown.

Kazhikina takes women's foil gold in extra time

Ekaterin Kazhikina (RUS) took the junior women's foil title with a hard fought 10-9 victory over Alice Volpi (ITA) in the extra minute after the match was level at the end of regulation time. A cautious approach from both fencers saw Volpi leading 4-3 at the first break and 7-5 at the second and with a one hit deficit with less than a minute remaining the Russian had to look for the attack to draw level. And with the priority in extra time, Kazhikina was able to time her attack to make the winning hit as Volpi tried to pressure her opponent.

Men's sabre semi-finals

Aron Szilagyi (HUN) came back from 8-5 down at the break to beat American Daryl Homer 15-10 and take his place in the men's sabre final. Szilagyi displayed tremendous mobility and judgement of distance to control the second half of the fight. Facing him in the final will be Max Hartung (GER) who took the decisive last few hits in a see-saw match against Russia's Boris Savich to win 15-12.

Women's Foil Semi-finals

Alice Volpi took the first semi in a disappointingly one-sided 15-1 win against her Italian team-mate Batini. And the second semi proved almost equally straightforward with Ekaterin Kazhikina (RUS) cruising past Kreiss (HUN) 15-5.

Women's foil quarter-finals

Alice Volpi (ITA) defeated cadet champion Prescod (USA) 15-10 with a fine display of control and decisiveness to set up a semi with team-mate Martina Batini who fought past Kim (KOR) by the same score.

The second semi-final will see Ekaterin Kazhikina (RUS) face Kreiss (HUN) after the Russian defeated Japan's Nishioka 15-9 while the Hungarian made her now standard slow start but took complete control to run out a winner 15-6 against Wahlgemuth (AUT).

Women's Foil L16 Update

Nzingha Prescod (USA) edged out team-mate Nicole Ross 15-14 to set up a last 8 clash with fellow cadet Alice Volpi (ITA). Volpi disposed of Ysora Thibus of France 15-5. And Martina Batini won the all Italian match against Valentina De Costanzo 15-10. In the last 8 she will face Yoon-ha Kim of Korea. Fanny Kreiss (HUN) again went to time beating Anastasia Ivanova (RUS) 11-9. Her opponent will be Olivia Wahlgemuth (AUT) who knocked out another Hungarian, Sofia Varga, 15-6. Also into the last 8 are Japanese fencer Nishioka who beat Udrea (ROU) 15-7 where Russian Kazhikina awaits after beating Egyptian Shaban in a tense 15-13 win.

Women's Foil L32 Update

Still few shocks in the junior women's foil with most of the top seeds still progressing smoothly. Fanny Kreiss, seeded 7, had has a close call against France's Anne Carole Zouari 13-12 at time. Cadet silver medallist Lee Kiefer couldn't make the same impression at junior level and was eliminated 15-13 by Kazhikina (RUS). Cadet champion Nzingha Prescod (USA) did make it through to the last 16 where she faces compatriot and top seed Nicole Ross.

Men's sabre last 8

Quarter finals are now complete and Aron Szilagyi (HUN) has ended the day for number 1 seed Benedikt Wagner (GER) beating him 15-8. The Hungarian now faces Daryl Homer (USA) who beat Csaba Gall (HUN) 15-14 on a nailbiting final hit.

In the other half of the draw Max Hartung (GER) faces Boris Savich (RUS) after they won their fights 15-11 and 15-10 respectively.

Women's foil last 64s

In the shock of the last 64 fights in the Junior women's foil, Canadian Alanna Goldie knocked out 4th seed Hanna Lyczbinska 15-11 to progress to the last 32. Other upsets to the form book were Kristina Bokorova (SVK) eliminating Mi Hyun Pak of Korea by the same score and Dumitru (ROU) defeating Essl of Austria 15-12. Otherwise most of the top seeds enjoyed a smooth passage into the next round.

All the British girls bowed out at this stage, Catriona Sibert getting closest with a frustrating 15-13 loss to Anna Bourdakou (GRE).

Men's Sabre last 16

Well we now have the quarter final line up. Wagner is still going strong and now faces Szilagyi. Daryl Homer (USA) and Max Hartung (GER) are both still in and face Csaba Gall (HUN) and Andrey Trinkal (UKR). The final match up is Stefano Sbragia (ITA) and Boris Savich (RUS).
Into the last 16 is top seed Benedikt Wagner (GER) joined by 3rd and 4th seeds Max Hartung (GER) and Daryl Homer (USA), but it is all over for second seed Dong Ho Choi (KOR) as he was beaten 15-11 by the USA's Avery Zuck.

Early favourites Nikolasz Iliasz (HUN), Mayerwing Rondon (VEN), Vincent Coururier (CAN) are all out but Bon-Gil Gu (KOR) is through to fence Szilagyi (HUN).

Sports stars visit the Championships!

Today the event was honoured by a visit from Sir Steve Redgrave, gold medal winner for rowing in 5 Olympics. He is pictured here with British Fencers Jon May (left) and James Harris (right).

Sir Steve then gave a talk with Dame Mary Peters (Northern Irish Olympic Pentathlete) and Jonny Davis (Northern Irish Olympic fencer) and answered questions from the floor.

Inspirational stuff!

Men's sabre last 128 and 64

Bad news for the Brits as although Alex Crutchett made it through the 128 he was unable to carry it forward and was beaten 15-13 by Aron Szilagyi (HUN) in the last 64. It was a close match throughout with the lead changing several times, but at 14-12 down Alex could only get one of the two hits he needed to tie it up and the Hunarian 9th seed progressed.

Maiyuran Ratneswaran was also knocked out, 15-10 the score, by Nikita Nikitin (UKR). Although at the break Maiyuran was just one hit down, the second half of the fight got away from him and he scored 3 hits to the Ukranian's 7.

All top four seeds made it through and are currently fencing in the last 32.

Junior Women's Foil Update

First round poules are complete and the draw for the direct elimination is up. 88 fencers started with a cut to 63. American Nicole Ross tops the rankings with Sofia Varga (HUN), Maria Udrea (ROU) and Hannah Lyczbinska (POL) seeded 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Valentina De Costanza is 5th seed and 6th seeded Iman Shaban of Egypt faces Great Britain's Phillipa Mullins in the last 64.

Other Brits in action are Catriona Sibert, seeded 34 after 4 wins and 2 defeats in her poule, who faces Anna Bourdakou of Greece and Lisa McKenzie, seeded 45th with 3 wins and 3 defeats, who gets 20th seed Marta Lyczbinska of Poland. First matches just about to start so don't forget to follow the live scores on the Ophardt Team website.

Men's Sabre poules

First results of the day are in from the men's sabre poules. Top seed Iliasz (HUN) dropped one fight in his poule to cadet silver medallist Willau (AUT). Top seed after the poules though is Benedikt Wagner (GER) with Korea's Dong Ho Choi in second and Max Hartung (GER) and Daryl Homer (USA) making up the top four.

Leading the Brits is Maiyuran Ratneswaran who was 3 and 3 in his poule of seven, ranked 44th he has a bye to the last 64. Alex Crutchett won two from five fights and Tom Mottershead was one from five after his poule of seven was reduced to six. Alex Crutchett is seeded 56 and faces 73rd seed Tywilliam Guzenski (BRA) but Mottershead finishes 77th missing the cut to 73.

Day 4 - Junior events begin

Welcome to day 4 here in Belfast. Today we bring you the first of our Junior events, men's sabre starts at 8.30am and women's foil poules will follow at 10am.

Top of the rankings for men's sabre is Nikolasz Iliasz (HUN) followed by Mayerwing Rondon (VEN), Vincent Couturier (CAN) and Bon-Gil Gu (KOR). British competitors today are Thomas Mottershead, Alex Crutchett and Maiyuran Ratneswaran. Cadet silver medalist Matthias Willau (AUT) is also one of the 99 competitors.

Leading up the women is newly crowned cadet world champion Nzingha Prescod (USA) followed by Fanny Kreiss (HUN), Valentina De Constanzo (ITA) and Marta Lyczbinska. Cadet silver medalist Lee Kiefer joins the 88 strong field as does bronze medalist Alice Volpi (ITA). British hopes for the day are with Lisa McKenzie, Philippa Mullins and Catriona Sibert.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nista lifts men's foil title

Lorenzo Nista took the world cadet men's foil crown with a comfortable 15-10 victory over compatriot Edoardo Luperi.

Budai wins the gold!

Budai beats Holmes 15-10 in the final of the cadet women's epee. The match was close for the first 9 minutes until Budai made a break for it at 9 all and quickly got 14-10 up before closing out the championship on a single light.

All Italian men's foil final

Italians Lorenzo Nista and Edoardo Luperi will meet in the cadet men's foil final as both won their semi-finals 15-10.

Nista knocked out American Alex Massialas, finding his range with both attack and defence while Luperi showed brilliant timing and distance to overcome Germany's Andre Sinita despite the German's determined efforts to stay with his opponent.

Men's foil last 8s

Massialas (USA) destroyed defending champion Garozzo (ITA) 15-6 to move into the semis where he will face another Italian, Lorenzo Nista who stormed back from a 14-10 deficit against Kontochristopoulos (GRE) to snatch the win.

In the other half of the draw Sanita (GER) eased past Kwak of Korea to face Luperi (ITA) who disposed of the other Korean, Lee, 15-5.

Men's foil lat 16s

Alex Tofalides put up a battling performance against Italy's Daniele Garozzo but eventually bowed out 13-8 after non-combativity was called and the match moved into the extra minute. Garozzo was joined in the last 8 by his team-mates Luperi who crushed Kahl (GER) 15-1 and Nista who disposed of Tsoronis (DEN) 15-5.

Elswhere, Alex Massialas (USA) edged out Von Der Osten of Denmark 15-14 in a fight that see-sawed back and forth and could have gone either way before a single light counter-attack at 14 all clinched the win for the American. Another nail-biter saw Kontochristopoulos (GRE) just get past Chen of China to make the final 8. Both Koreans, Kwak and Lee also progress and are joined by Sinita (GER).

Last 8 matches are Garozzo v. Massialas, Nista v. Kontochristopoulos, Kowk v. Sanita and Lee v. Luperi.

Men's foil last 32

British fencer Alex Tofalides set up a last 16 clash with defending champion and top seed Daniele Garozzo (ITA) by defeating Toldo (BRA) 15-7 in the last 32.

Also through are Luperi (ITA) who survived a late scare against Nakis of Greece to win 15-13. American Alex Massialas also looked in fine form as he cruised past Kamphaus (LUX) 15-6.

Llavador of Spain continued to defy his seeding to emerge victorious against Gabor Nemeth 15-8 and now faces Kwak (KOR).

Women's Epee last 8

In the first quarter final the second all Italian affair went against the form book again as Camilla Batini beat Gaia Fratini 15-11. Batini will now face the USA's Katharine Holmes who upset Toncica Tonic's day by edging a 15-13 victory over the Croatian.

An Qi Xu (CHN) had a realatively easy ride against Israel's Daria Strelnikov winning 15-8 but thanks to Dorina Budai (HUN) will not face countrywoman Yujie Sun as the latter was beaten by Budai 14-13.
The photo shows Katharine Holmes airborne against Toncica Tonic who stays low with the counter attack.

Cadet men's foil into the 32

The first round of elimination produced few major surprises with most of the top seeds making their way into the last 32. Among the upsets were 53rd seed Volodymyr Stadnyk (UKR) defeating 12th seed Mate Hari of Hungary with a nail-biting 14-13 win at time and Dutch 11th seed Max Janssen succumbing to 54th seed Robin Pfefferkorn (AUT) 15-12.

Two of the Brits fell at this hurdle with Callum O'Donnell being beaten by the speed and accuracy of Hungary's Gabor Nemeth 15-7 and Tom Allen suffering a heavy loss against Chen Li of China. Better news was the progress of Alex Tofalides who beat Yotam Ullman of Israel 15-10 with a typicaly belligerent performance. He faces Brazilian Toldo in the last 32 as the action starts to hot up.

Woen's epee Last 16

It's all change at the top as Alberta Santucci was beaten 15-6 by countrywoman Camilla Batini. There was a further upset when Katharine Holmes of the USA took out Russian Yulia Bakhareva 10-9 in overtime.

The Topic/Marniak match up looked to be heading for a reasonably comfortable win for the Croatian at 14-8 up, but the Israeli had other ideas and brought it back to 14-13 and pushed the fight into the final period. The equaliser never came though and the Tonic took the victory 15-13. Also having a tougher time of it was Angi Xu (CHN) who beat Erika Kirpu (EST) 15-13. Things were easier for Yujie Sun and Gaia Fratini who ran out 15-2 and 15-4 winners respectively.

Bring on the quarters!

Women's epee last 32

At the top of the table Alberta Santuccio (ITA) marches on after defeating Lind (NOR) 15-8 and will now face compatriot Camilla Batini in the last 16. Marniuk and Tonic also progressed 15-12 and 15-13 respectively and will now meet in what could be a very tasty last 16 fight. It was mixed fortunes for the two remaining Estonians with Beljajeva losing 15-14 to third seed Angi Xu from China but Erika Kirpu is through and will now meet Xu in the next round.

Second seed Dorina Budai progressed 15-7 at the expense of Britain's Amy Radford and it was a similar story for Caitlin Chang who lost 15-8 to Yujie Sun (CHN).

Men's cadet foil poules round

Daniele Garozz0, the defending champion, emerged from the poules as top seed in the cadet men's foil, closely followed by his team-mate Luperi. Safin (RUS) is 3rd seed, Kato (JPN) 4th, Choupenitch (CZE) 5th, Sanita (GER) 6th, Shi (CHN) 7th and Massialas (USA) 8th. The competition started with 84 fencers, cut to 62 for the direct elimination meaning the top 2 seeds get to put their feet up until the last 32 stage.

The British contingent all safely negotiated the poules: Callum O'Donnell winning 2 out of 6, Tom Allen also winning 2 from 6 and Alex Tofalides taking 5 wins out of his 6 fights. Their seedings going into the DE are Alex 16, Tom 50 and Callum 51. Alex faces 49th seed Yotam Ullman (ISR), Tom has 15th seed Chen Li (CHN) and Callum draws 14th seeded Hungarian Gabor Nemeth.

Women's epee last 64

One of the initial top seeds, Erika Kirpu is still going strong and is into the last 32 after beating Romania's Diana Doniou 15-12. Tonica Topic (CRO) had a slightly easier time of it, progressing 15-8 against Huiting Wen (CHN) and similarly Julia Beljajeva took out Canada's Janelle Mackoff 15-7.

Good news also for the two remaining Brits. Caitlin Chang beat Kamila Strug 15-12 and will now face 7th seed Yujie Sun (CHN) in the last 32, that match coming up shortly. Amy Radford beat Louise Fournier (CAN) 15-10. After a tense 6 minutes the referee called non-combativity in the final period at 10-9 to Amy. With piority to the Canadian Amy went on the rampage and ran out a 15-10 victor. Her prize, second seed Dorina Budai (HUN) in the 32.

Women's Epee Poules

Poule results from cadet women's epee are in and top of the pile is Italy's Alberta Santuccio who was ranked 5th at the start of the competition. Hungary's Dorina Budai is second, Angi Xu (CHN) third, Russia's Yulia Bakhareva fourth and Avital Marniuk (ISR) fifth - all receive byes to the last 32.

Meanwhile Britain's Caitlin Chang was four victories from six and Amy Radford was three victories from five. Rebecca Thomas was one from five and finishes 64th, just missing the cut to 59 for the direct eliminations. Caitlin is seeded 26th and fences Kamila Strug (POL) at 11am and Amy is seeded 34th and fences Louise Fournier (CAN) at 11.40am.

Here's a photo of Rebecca Thomas in action against Poland's Zagoda Jagala.

Cadet women's epee and men's foil

It's a beautiful morning here in Belfast with the sun rising over the water as we drove to the venue for the final day of cadet competitions.

Women's epee starts shortly at 8.30am followed by the men's foil poules at 10am.

Top of the women's epee seedings is Israel Avital Marniuk followed by Erika Kirpu (EST), Toncica Topic (CRO) and Julia Beljajeva (EST). Britain's Caitlin Chang is not far behind, seeded 7th for the event with Amy Radford at 16 and Rebecca Thomas at 33 out of the 79 entrants.

In men's foil Italy's Daniele Garozzo leads the way with Kontochristopoulous (GRE), Jeremy Goldstein (USA) and Theodoros Nakis (GRE). The British boys start with Alex Tofalides at 30th and Callum O'Donnell and Thomas Allen at 36th and 37th out of the 84 starters.

This morning I have uploaded a further 60 photos from the opening ceremony so take a look at the gallery. More photos will go up later from the fencing on the first and second days and the medal ceremonies.

Junior and Cadet World Fencing Championships - Belfast 2009

Good luck everyone!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Today's medal winners

In women's sabre the USA double double was halted in it's tracks by a 15-13 victory by Varhelyi over Glon with a single light tempo hit to win. In the other semi Diamond Wheeler beat Navarria 15-11.

In the final Varhelyi went into an early lead, only for Wheeler to pull it back and take the lead herself. A spirited fightback by Varhelyi was not enough and Wheeler scooped the gold medal with a 15-12 victory to the delight of the USA supporters who stormed the arena. Wheeler follows in the footsteps of double Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis and Rebecca Ward, the youngest fencer to hold all three world titles (cadet, junior and senior) at the same time; all three girls are coached by Ed Korfanty.

In men's epee there was no joy for the Italians as Leombruno was beaten by Kase 15-9 and Santarelli left his comeback too late and Glazkov came out a 15-13 winner.

In the final there were a number of doubles and the score remained close before the Russian edged out a 15-12 victory.

Congratulations to all the medalists!

Men's epee quarter finals

We now have our men's epee semi finalists.

In the first quarter final Marco Leombruno (ITA) beat Teemu Seeve (FIN) 15-12 and will now face Robin Kase (SWE) whose speed overcame the power of the German Nikolaus Bodoczi 15-11.

In the other half vocal Russian Nikita Glazkov beat Jozef Portes (POL) and now faces second seed Andrea Santarelli (ITA) who beat Zhibo Shi 15-9. Santarelli was the highest seeded fencer left in the draw by some way and none of the other semi-finalists were even ranked in the top 16 after the poules.

Here's a photo of Kase (SWE) and Bodoczi (GER) in action, and both moving very quickly!

Finals will start shortly, so get the popcorn in, sit back and enjoy and will we see an American or an Italian 1-2?

Men's epee last 16

Marco Leombruno, seeded first at the start of the competition, has beaten Gaofeng Shi (CHN), top seed after the poules, 15-13 to make the last 8. Another early favourite Bodoczi (GER) is also through, overcoming Smolka (POL) 15-11 and second seed after the poules Santarelli (ITA) beat Von Der Osten (DEN) 15-12.

Joining those three in the last 8 are Teemu Seeve (FIN), Robin Kase (SWE), Nikita Glazkov (RUS), Jozef Portes (POL) and Zhibo Shi (CHN)

Men's Epee last 32

Gaofeng Shi marched on into the last 16 after defeating Holland's Mick Broekmann 15-11 and will now face Marco Leombruno who beat Jan Golobic (SLO). Number 2 seed Santarelli (ITA) is also through, beating Vadim Anokhin (RUS) but Stian Herbern (NOR), the fourth seed, was edged out 10-9 by Mikolaj Smolka (POL). It was also game over for Nicolas Ferreira (BRA) who was beaten 15-6 by Finlands Teemu Seeve. Germany's Nikolaus Bodoczi is through 15-8 against Laurent Clenin (SUI) and his countryman Mario Wolters ended Matthew Henderson's day by beating the Brit 15-9.

More info about our live TV stream

The live web tv stream is showing all the action from piste 2 (red) and most of piste 4 (green). The finals on the final piste are also shown.

Replays will be available of each day at the end of the championships to download and you can also putchase a dvd (go to or email

The first 500 viewers of the live stream each day will get free access, after that there will be a £1 charge to cover bandwidth use.

Men's epee last 64

Safely through to the round of 32 are top seed Gaofeng Shi (CHN), Andrea Santarelli (ITA) no 2 seed and 3rd seed Stian Herbern (NOR). Joining them are early favourites Marco Leombruno (ITA) and Vadim Anokhin, the latter faces Santarelli in the 32. Nicolas Ferreira (BRA) made it through against Spartak Harutyunyan (ARM) in a close fight that was only decided by two single lights in the dying seconds of the match. Nikolaus Bodoczi (GER) made it through at the expense of Britain's James Allen who lost 15-11.

Other Brits in action were Christopher Hay who lost to Robin Kase (SWE), despite some superb fleches he was unable to overcome the speed and timing of the Swede, and Matthew Henderson who put out 8th seeded Vitali Sokolovski (BLR) 15-10 and now faces Mario Wolters (GER).

Here's a photo of Chris Hay, whose stop hit sadly isn't enough to beat the fast moving Swede as he closes the distance to make the touch.

Women's sabre quarter finals

Well, the last 8 came and went very quickly, but it is the Americans again leading the way with two more medalists this evening, colours still to be decided. Nicole Glon beat Magyar (HUN) 15-10 and now faces Kata Varhelyi (HUN) who beat China's Fei Li, also 15-10. In the other half of the draw the two Italians Caterina Navarria and Marta Ciaraglia fought it out, with Navarria ending the dream for the top seed 15-8. She will now face Diamond Wheeler who beat Elizaveta Kirianova (RUS) 15-7. With the two American's in opposite sides the one-two is still on but I'm sure Varhelyi and Navarria will have something to say about that.

Good news for GBR epeeists

Matthew Henderson beats Ivan Lovric 15-13 and James Allen beats Aoi Tsue 15-7 so all three Brits make it safely into the 64. James now fences Nikolaus Bodoczi (HUN) and Matthew has Vitali Sokolovski (BLR).

Here's a picture of James in action earlier in the poule round.

Women's sabre last 16

Top seed Ciaraglia was pushed to 15-12 but got safely through against Moon (KOR) and now fences Navarria who overcame Chudikova 15-13.

USA's Diamond Wheeler and Nicole Glon also made it through. Kata Varhelyi beat Olena Kravatska and making up the rest of the last 8 are Kirianova (RUS), Fei Li (CHN) and Zsannett Magyar (HUN).

Men's Epee poules

Christopher Hay leads the way for Britain as 28th seed on four vicotires. Matthew Henderson managed three victories and now faces Ivran Lovric (CRO) in the last 128 as 57th Seed. James Allen also made it through on two victories and fences Aoi Tsue (JPN) in the last 128 as 77th seed - the two Brits not many places away from drawing each other. Christopher is straight through to the last 64 where he fences Kase (SWE)

Coming out on top was China's Gaofeng Shi.

Over in women's sabre...

It's bad news for Rebecca Hopkins who lost 15-5 to Yana Egorian. Top seed Ciraglia was safely through against Matyas (HUN), along with second seed Musch (GER) and Kravatska (UKR). Fourth seed Aggelaopoulou (GRE) and Komashuk (UKR) are out but Varhelyi (HUN), Navarria (ITA) and Chudikova (UKR) are still in.

Live coverage on the web

Live coverage of the competition is available on

It's like you're in the building!

WS Poules

Well, the poule results are now in and it's a mixed bag for the Brits. Rebecca Hopkins was three from six but Anna Miles Matli was just one from six and Laura Hunter-Thomas was unfortunately none from six, despite a very spirited display to take 4th seed Caterina Navarria (ITA) to four hits, the Italian only dropping one fight in the poule. Anna finishes 41st and Laura H-T 44th. Rebecca Hopkins gets straight through the incomplete 64 and faces sixth seed Yana Egorian (RUS) in the last 32.

A mixed bag also for the top three seeds. Kata Varhelyi looked very impressive but was only three victories from six. And Ukranian pair Chudikova and Komishuk dropped one and two fights respectively.

Coming out on top was Italy's Marta Ciaraglia who won all her fights for the loss of seven hits, impressive stuff. Second seed is Germany's Anja Musch with the third Ukranian Olena Kravatska third and Greece's Christina Aggelakopoulou fourth.

Here's a photo of Anna in action against the Magyar (HUN).

Events today

Morning all! Cadet women's sabre gets under way in about half an hour with Rebecca Hopkins, Anna Miles Matli and Laura Hunter-Thomas representing the UK. Seeded first out of the 47 competitors is Hungary's Kata Varhelyi, followed by Ukranian pair Lera Chudikova and Alina Komashuk.

Later on we have cadet men's epee with James Allen, Christopher Hay and Matthew Henderson leading the home charge. Also fencing today is Ireland's Owen McConnell. Top seed is Italy's Marco Leombruno followed by Brazilian Nicolas Ferreira and German Nikolaus Bodoczi. Epee poules start at 10am.

Good luck everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Prescod retains title

Nzingha Prescod (USA) defeated compatriot Lee Kiefer 15-6 to retain her women's cadet foil world title. Prescod leapt to an early 6-1 lead by disrupting her opponent's attacks to score with a mixture of counter-attacks and ripostes but was steadily pegged back by Kiefer and the gap closed to a couple of hits. However Prescod held her nerve to pick off her opponent as Kiefer had to chase as the clock ran down and eventually ran out a convincing winner.

Ibragimov wins cadet sabre gold medal

Ibragimov beats Willau 15-9 to win the cadet world campionships sabre. The Russian's timing and touch overcoming the power of the Austrian.

Prescod edges out Lavrenova

Defending champion Nzingha Prescod produced a storming comeback to defeat Veronika Lavrenova (RUS) 15-14. At 14-11 ahead the Russian seemed to have taken a decisive lead at exactly right time but with time running out in the final period Prescod to the last 4 hits to reach the final against American team-mate Kiefer.

Kiefer cruises to final

American Lee Kiefer crushed Italy's Alice Volpi 15-7 in the first semi-final of the women's cadet foil. Top seed Volpi had no answer to Kiefer's timing and accuracy and has to settle for bronze.

Men's sabre semi's

Willau of Austria emerged victorious from the first semi final, beating Valkai 15-9. Willau was more powerful throughout and led from the start.

Ibagamov from Russia beat Ukraine's Statstenko 15-9 showing the form that made him Russian Cadet champion.

Volpi, Kiefer, Prescod and Lavrenova into semi-finals

Alice Volpi (ITA) will face American Lee Kiefer in the first semi-final of the cadet women's foil, while Nzingha Prescod (also USA) will meet Russian Veronika Lavrenova in the second semi. Here's a short clip of Lavrenova clinching victory over Min Jeong Kim in the last 8.

Cadet women's foil L16 round up

Second seed Calissa and 5th seed Monaco both crash out in the last 16, losing to Lavrenova (RUS) and Kulhanek respectively. This leaves top seed Alice Volpi as the sole Italian in the last eight. Americans Prescod and Kiefer progressed and are joined by another Russian Alekseeva, Jelinska (POL) and Kim (KOR). The matches for a place in the semi-finals are Volpi vs. Alekseeva, Kulhanek vs. Kiefer, Prescod vs. Jelinska and Kim vs. Lavrenova.

Women's seeds make smooth progress into last 16

The top women's foil seeds made short work of their last 32 fights to make easy progress into the last 16. Volpi, Prescod, Kiefer, Monaco and seventh seed Dashidova all eased past their opponents with the minimum of fuss, the highest seed to be eliminated being eleventh seed Fruzsina Golya (HUN) who was knocked out by Olivia Wohlgemuth of Austria. Back with more when things start to heat up in the last 16.

Men's Sabre Finals

Men's sabre finals are going to be starting at 1730 with Ferenc Valkai (HUN) against Matthias Willau (AUT) and Kamill Ibragimov (RUS) against Yevgeniy Statsenko (UKR).

Speaking to Curtis Miller after his last 16 (final placing 15th) he said he was pleased with his result, but a bit disappointed to lose to Wrobel having fenced him before and beaten him 15-13. Overall though Curtis tells me it was a good day, he was fencing well, and he was very pleased to beat Michael Mills as he had seen him fence well in Budapest earlier in the year. Excellent stuff, thanks Curtis, and good luck for the next time!

WF Brit Update 2

With the women's foil last 32 drawing to a close, bad news for British interest with Alex Craig bowing out to Dutch fencer Kulhanek 15-5. Kulhanek dominated the fight from start to finish with a mixture of fluency and accuracy that proved too much for Alex. Back with an update of the rest of the WF last 32 fights shortly!

Brit Update

With the women's foil last 64 running (incomplete with 52 fencers) time for a Brit update and mixed news, I'm afraid. Frankie Pioli lost to Mirela Ifrim of Roumania 15-7, the 17th seed proving too strong and Georgia Hannay was beaten by Yuki Yasuda of Japan 13-6. Yasuda had had a disappointing poule but came good to post a comfortable win. However Alex Craig provided some cheer edging out Belgium's Marie Deschuyter 15-14 to progress to the last 32 where she will meet Iman Kulhanek of the Netherlands.

Last 16 MS

Unfortunately Curtis Miller's championships came to an end in the last 16. After pulling back a deficit and taking the lead at 14-13, he was unable to close out the match and lost the next two hits. Wrobel in to the last 8.

Also there are Valkai (HUN), Willau (AUT) 5th Seed, Tsap (UKR), Berre (ITA), Ibragimov (RUS), Statsenko (UKR) and Sung (KOR)

Giant Killing in the MS L32

Although Valkai made it safely through, others were not so lucky.

2nd seed Escudero (ESP) fought back against Jun Mo Sung (KOR) to level after being a long way behind, but the Korean regrouped and closed the match out 15-12.

3rd seed Stefano Scepi (ITA) also sucummbed to a Korean, being beaten 15-14 by Woo Sun Kim.

But all this bode well for GBR's Curtis Miller, who after being behind by a couple of hits for most of the fight was able to bring it back and close it out against USA's Michael Mills. He now faces Mariusz Wrobel (POL) whic overcame 8th seed Tomasso Saviozzi (ITA).

Italy and USA dominate women's foil poules

Italy's Alice Volpi emerged as top seed from the poules with compatriots Calissa and Monaco seeded 2nd and 5th. Splitting the Italians were the American fencers Prescod and Kiefer as 3rd and 4th seeds.

Brits Alex Craig, Georgia Hannay and Frankie Pioli all make the cut and head into the direct elimination seeded 21, 23 and 48 respectively.

MS Valkai edges through 32

Top seed Ferenc Valkai (HUN) edged out Chow (HKG) 15-14, pulling back a 4 hit deficit in the second period to advance to the last 16.

Men's Sabre Last 64

The men's sabre last 64 is now complete and it is good news for GBR's Curtis Miller, who overcame Firat (TUR) 15-6 and now faces number 9 seed Mills (USA). Not so good news for Fabio Artesi (GRB) who lost to Nikita Li (RUS) 15-5.

The top 12 seeds had a bye through and so there competition will start again from the last 32. Number 1 seed for the comptition, Maximilian Kindler (GER) overcame a shaky start in the poule that saw him seeded 39 for the last 64. The Junior world number 5 is now through to the 32 to fence fellow German and 7th seed Richard Huebers.

Here's a shot of Curtis in action to keep you going. Next fight is coming up shortly!

Women's foilists into action

The cadet women's foilists are well into their poules and the Brit update is Alex Craig 2 up, Georgia M-H 2 up 1 down and Frankie Pioli 1 up 2 down. Sports hall 1 is packed!

sabre poules

Sabre poules are now finished. Top after the poules was Ferenc Valkai HUN.

Britain's Curtis Miller leads the way on 3v from 5 and is 24 seed facing Firat TUR at 1115. Fabio Artesi won 2 from 5 and is 44 seed facing Nikita Li RUS at 1045. Will Fotherby won 1 from 6 and finishes 59.

The incomplete 64 starting shortly, and it's all wireless with video reffing I'm told!

Time for action!

The fencing is underway with cadet men's sabre getting things started. 72 fencers start with 11 poules. Cut to 52 for the direct elimination.

You can follow live results on the Ophardt team website by clicking on the link on the event website

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Event timetable

The competition starts tomorrow with men's sabre and women's foil. A full timetable for each day of the cadet competitions is as follows:

Sunday 5th
0900 Men's sabre
1000 Women's foil
1700 Opening ceremony
1730 Finals

Monday 6th
0900 Women's Sabre
1000 Men's epee
1730 Finals

Tuesday 7th
0830 Women's epee
1000 Men's foil
1800 Finals

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Introducing Eddie the Elk!

Welcome to the newest member of the Belfast 2009 team, our mascot Eddie the Elk!

Come and say hello to him at the venue next week and help him cheer on all of our competitors!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Belfast Buzz

With the first competitiors arriving in a matter of days it seems that everyone is talking about the Championships, here is what they have been saying:

“This is great news for sport in Northern Ireland, and a wonderful chance for the public to see world class sport in the province.

With free entry for spectators, the event promises to be great entertainment and is also a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of fencing and increase participation in the sport, particularly in the run up to London 2012.”
- Jonathan Edwards, Deputy Chair of the London 2012 Nations and Regions Group

“Once again Belfast is demonstrating its ability to host a major, world class sporting occasion, bringing positive economic benefit to our City”
- The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tom Hartley

“It is an honour for Northern Ireland to host the Fencing Championships and I look forward to welcoming all the teams for this international event.

Northern Ireland is fast becoming a thriving sporting hub which offers excellent facilities such as those at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown.

Hosting International sporting events is one of the best ways of showing the world what Northern Ireland has to offer. I would be hopeful that some of the young competitors taking part in these Championships will qualify for the Olympic Games and the people of Northern Ireland could be welcoming them back for pre-games training in 2012.”
- Sports Minister, Gregory Campbell