20th June 2013
Romanian Double Gold Glory
It was back to the individual events on day four of the European Championships with competitions in Women’s Epee and Men’s Sabre.
The women’s epee event began the action on day four of the European Championships with 78 competitors in round one including Corinna Lawrence from Great Britain.
After a nervy start Lawrence finished the first round with three victories and three defeats that meant she made the cut for the incomplete round of 64. There she faced Antal (HUN) who she had beaten in the first round. Nonetheless a tight fight followed which Lawrence won 13-12 in the priority minute. In the round of 32 Pochkalova (UKR) was her opponent and another close encounter ensued. This time Lawrence was edged out 15-14.
The first semi-final saw Branza (ROU) take on world number 231, Knapik (POL). The Pole was having the day of her life dispatching everyone that faced her like a seasoned champion. Branza had other ideas and with a great deal of patience and some lightning counter actions, opened up a 5-2 lead by the first break. At 8-4 by the second break Branza had done the damage and ran out a 15-9 winner. In the second semi-final between Szasz (HUN) and Quondamcarlo (ITA), non-combativity brought the second period to a close with the score at 3-3. The Italian showed a great deal of variety at the beginning of the third period to open up a 10-6 lead. Szasz had to chase and this played into the Italian’s hands as she picked of the Hungarian with a series of beat ripostes and counter actions to close the fight 15-8. In the final Branza (ROU) and Szasz (HUN) traded the fight two hits before non-combativity was called. The fight picked up in the second period but there was still nothing in it at 5-4 in Branza’s favour at the end of the second period. In the first two minutes of the final period Branza opened up a 10-7 lead and Quondamcarlo was forced to chase the fight. In an action packed minute, Branza was able to get her hands on the European title winning 15-11.
GB individual placings: Lawrence 30th.
The second event on day four of the championships was the Men’s Sabre individual event where 56 fencers including Aiyenuro, Alex Crutchett and Honeybone fought to become European Champion 2013.
All three British fencers finished the first round with two victories from six. Aiyenuro and Honeybone made the cut but Crutchett was unlucky to be the first fencer to be cut. In the round of 64 Szabo (GER) defeated Aiyenuro 15-7 but Honeybone beat Pundyk (UKR) 15-14. He then faced Likhacheuski (BLR) and beat him 15-11. In the round of 16 he fell 15-10 to Galatanu (ROU) in a fight full of close decisions.
Both semi-finals were one-sided contests with Yakimenko (RUS) beating Berre (ITA) 15-7 and Dolniceanu (ROU) overcoming Kovalev (RUS) 15-8. The final was a different story. Yakimenko stormed to a 6-3 lead showing great variety but Dolniceanu steadied his ship and led 8-7 at the break alternating between attacks on preparation and parry ripostes. The Romanian’s domination continued in the second period and after a series of attacks he was 13-9 up. He completed his gold medal winning performance with a stop-cut and attack to take the title 15-11
GB Individual placings: Honeybone 16th, Aiyenuro 42nd & Crutchett 43rd.
The fifth day will feature team events in Men’s Foil and Women’s Sabre.