10th June 2014
Hungary and Italy secure first gold medals of the championships
This year’s European Championships in Strasbourg, France began with two full days of epee action.
The European Championships 2014 began with the Men’s Epee individual event as 89 fencers took to the piste. There were no British entries on day one.
The biggest surprise of the day came early on, as World number one and the current World Champion, Nikolai Novosjolov (EST) only managed one victory in the first round meaning that he did not make the direct elimination stages. The bigger “names” continued to fall throughout the day and the highest seed left in the tournament by the quarterfinal stage was, World number six, Ulrich Robeiri (FRA). He did not progress any further though as Andras Redli (HUN) edged him out 9-8 in a priority minute. He faced Max Heinzer (SUI) in the semi-final and edged another tight fight, 15-14 to make the gold medal match. The other semi-final saw the always entertaining, Paolo Pizzo (ITA) beat Jean-Michel Lucernay, 15-11. Redli’s calm approach to the gold medal match saw him take the European title with a 15-8 victory.
The second event of the championships was the Women’s Epee individual event where 72 fencers, including Corinna Lawrence fought to become the European Champion 2014.
Lawrence finished the first round with three victories from six fights including one over Britta Heidemann (GER) leaving her ranked 33rd for the round of 64. A confident 15-11 victory against Topic (CRO) meant that she faced the World number 11 and number one seed for the tournament, Violetta Kolobova (RUS). An upset looked to be on the cards as Lawrence fenced brilliantly to take a 14-12 lead. The Russian fencer composed herself and went on to beat Lawrence 15-14.
The first semi-final between Josephine Jacques Andre Coquin (FRA) and Bianca Del Carretto was a tight affair throughout but the Italian went on to win 15-13. In the other semi-final Marie Florence Candassamy (FRA) was the more imposing figure against Simona Gherman (ROU) and eased to a 15-9 victory. The gold medal match between Del Carretto and Candassamy was a battle of experience over youth. Del Carretto started well and took a 6-4 lead into the first break but by the second Candassamy had drawn level at 9-9, by preparing her fleche attacks well. The Italian started the final period well and edged two hits ahead, going on to win the Championships 15-12.
GB Individual placings: Lawrence 27th.
The third day will feature individual events in Men’s Foil and Women’s Sabre.