16th June 2012
Senior European Championships 2012 - Day 2
Kruse Takes Bronze as Davis and Halsted make the 16
It was the turn of the Women’s Sabreurs and Men’s Foilists on day two of the Senior European Championships in Legnano.
Day two of the European Championships 2012 in Legnano, Italy, began with the Women’s Sabre individual event as 51 fencers including Jo Hutchison, Chrystall Nicoll & Sophie Williams took to the piste. Louise Bond-Williams did not fence.
In a tough field both Nicholl and Williams progressed through the poules V2D3 but Hutchison was cut after recording V1D4. In the incomplete round of 64, Williams was 8-3 down at the break against Kubissa (GER) but got it back to 10-10. Kubissa managed to close the fight out though, winning 15-11. Nicoll started well against Pascu (ROU) and was 8-5 up at the break. Much of the same in the second period saw Nicholl progress 15-10. In the round of 32 she faced world number 18, Bianco (ITA). After taking an early lead Nicholl found herself 8-6 down at the break. She put in a tremendous stint in the second period but fell 15-11.
The attacking prowess of Vougiouka (GRE) was enough to overcome Stoltz (FRA) in the first semi final. She scored 12 of her hits with attacks to take the fight 15-9. The second semi final was a repeat of last year’s final in Sheffield, Kharlan (UKR) versus Socha (POL). Kharlan, defending her European crown took an 8-4 lead into the first break and despite a hit registering on the Ukrainian’s glove, she saw the fight out 15-9. The final between Kharlan (UKR) and Vougiouka (GRE) lived up to it’s billing with the Ukrainian leading 8-6 at the break. Vougiouka knew that the one-dimensional approach she’d employed in the semi final would not work against Kharlan and quickly changed her tactics. She tied the match up at 10-10 and then 13-13. Kharlan then scored her fourteenth hit with a brave but perfectly executed parry riposte. The drama wasn’t over though as Vougiouka pressured the Ukrainian with some disciplined footwork before launching a successful attack to take it to 14-14. Determined to defend her crown Kharlan stormed out of the blocks to take the fight 15-14, retaining her European title.
GB individual placings: Nicoll 30th, Williams 33rd, Hutchison 42nd.
The second event on day two of the championships was the Men’s Foil individual where 71 fencers including James Davis, Laurence Halsted, Richard Kruse and Husayn Rosowsky fought to become European Champion 2012.
Davis and Rosowsky started well coming out of the poules V5D1 and V4D1, respectively. It is worth noting that Davis defeated Choupenitch (CZE) and Rosowsky beat both Sintes (FRA) and Kleibrink (GER). Halsted and Kruse both came out of the poules V2D3 so all fencers progressed to the knockout stages with Davis (#5 seed) earning himself a bye through to the round of 32. In the round of 64 Halsted beat Nakis (GRE) 15-9 and Kruse took Guyart (FRA) apart 15-4. Despite his ranking of 14th after the first round Roswosky was knocked out 15-13 by Or Htuel (ISR). In the round of 32 Halsted beat Saliscan (ROU) 15-13 in a tense affair. Davis continued his impressive season by brilliantly beating world number 13, Le Pechoux (FRA) 15-10 and Kruse was on fire in his fight against Schlosser (AUT) beating him 15-5. The round of 16 put Davis up against the much more experienced Ganeev (RUS) and that experience showed as the Russian won 15-6. Davis was unlucky on a number of occasions as he seemed to have hit the Russian when attacking only for his light not to come up. A satisfying result nonetheless. Halsted also fell 15-7 to Wessels (GER) unable to find a way through against the giant German. Kruse faced up against Hertsyk (UKR) – the man he beat to the last automatic qualifying spot for the London Olympic Games. He flew into an 11-2 lead but somehow the Ukrainain turned what seemed to be an insurmountable deficit into a one-point lead at 13-12. Kruse showed real grit and determination to see the fight out winning it 15-13. Normal order was restored in the round of 8 as Kruse eased to a 15-4 win over Ganeev (RUS) to make the semi-final.
Cheremisinov (RUS) was Kruse’s opponent in the first semi final and the British fencer came out of the blocks at a high tempo in the sweltering conditions. At the end of the first period Kruse held a slender lead and at the start of the second the Russian had to have a medical time-out to address a lower back injury. He was able to resume but his movement was restricted and Kruse opened up a 10-4 lead. The pace Kruse had set was now started to take its toll and Cheremisinov used that to his advantage. He closed the distance right up and only trailed by one hit at the second break, 11-10. Kruse was unable to score again and lost 15-11 but his bronze medal finish represented his fourth medal at a European Championships. In the other semi final Kleibrink (GER) faced Majewski (POL) and the score was 8-7 to the German at the first break. It remained close until the Polish fencer broke away to lead 14-10. It looked to be all over but somehow the reigning Olympic Champion clawed his way back into the fight and took it in dramatic fashion, 15-14. In the final Cheremisinov took control early on and led 12-6 at the break. It seemed that Kleibrink had run out of steam Cheremisinov took the European Crown 15-7.
GB Individual placings: Kruse 3rd, Davis 11th, Halsted 16th, Rosowsky 34th.
The third day will feature team events in Men’s Sabre and Women’s Epee.