13th April 2012
Russia win Women’s team sabre gold medal in thrilling match against Ukraine
The Senior World Championships began with Women’s Team Sabre in the Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine.
Great Britain’s team of Angela Bilardi, Chrystall Nicoll, Kira Roberts and Sophie Williams joined a field of 14 teams in the event. Ranked 11th, they faced the tough prospect of the number 6 seeds, France in the round of 16. A great start for the GB saw them 10-4 up after two fights but then Berder (FRA) scored 11-2 in the third and maintained the lead, winning 45-34. Great Britain went on to beat Belarus (45-44) but then lose to Azerbaijan (45-37) and Kazakhstan (45-32) to claim 12th place.
The event was won in thrilling style by Russia (Dyachenko, Gavrilova, Velikaya and reserve, Galiakborova) 45-44 against the hosts, Ukraine (Kharlan, Khomrova, Khovnir and reserve, Pundyk). The Ukrainians came of out the blocks fast and led 10-8 after two fights. After the fourth the Russians had fought back and taken the lead only for Kharlan (UKR) to score 10-4 against Gavrilova (RUS) and take it back 25-24. A strong finish from the Russians meant they led 40-39 going into the last match that saw Velikaya (RUS) face Kharlan (UKR) – numbers 1 & 3 in the individual World rankings. Kharlan pulled the Ukrainians back to 44-44 with a subtle mixture of second intention parry ripostes and sharp attacks. All to no avail as Velikaya scored the winning hit to make Russia the 2012 Women’s Team Sabre World Champions 2012. The bronze medal went to the USA team who beat Italy 45-36.
GB Placing: 12th
Twenty three teams will contest the Men’s Epee team event on the second and final days of the tournament.