Andras Szatmari takes men’s sabre title at World Championships in Leipzig
Andras Szatmari is the new men’s individual sabre World Champion after winning gold at the 2017 Senior World Fencing Championships in Leipzig, Germany.
In the first senior World Championship following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the 24-year-old Hungarian recorded arguably the best result of his career when defeating Korea’s Bongil Gu in the Final, 15-11.
There were no shortage of surprises in what was a fascinating start to the World Championships. World number nine, USA’s Daryl Homer, was an early casualty as he was eliminated at the last 64 stage, being beaten by Argentina’s Pascual Maria Di Tella, 15-14.
There was also disappointment for the world number seven, Korea’s Junghwan Kim, as he fell at the last 32 stage to Israel’s Kostiantyn Voronov by a score of 15-13.
Szatmari’s progress was more measured as it saw him account for Germany’s Max Hartung 15-11 in the last 16, easily beating Voronov 15-4 in the quarter-finals, before seeing off France’s Vincent Anstett in the semi-final, 15-11.
Gu, a former bronze and silver World Championship medallist, found life much tougher as he had to fight hard to overcome Georgia’s Sandro Bazadze 15-13 in the last 16, Italy’s Luca Curatoli 15-11 in the quarter-finals, before overcoming Russia’s Kamil Ibragimov, 15-10 in the semi-finals, this after the Russian had defeated the Hungarian two-time Olympic champion Aron Szilagyi in the last 16, 15-12, and the world number seven, Korea’s Sanguk Oh, 15-10 in the last 16.
The Final was a predictably tense affair with so much at stake but Szatmari did just enough to edge matters by 15 touches to 11 to take the title.
Speaking afterwards, a clearly delighted Szatmari said, ‘It’s a wonderful feeling, and I appreciate everyone who helped me, including my family, coach, and girlfriend.
“I woke up this morning at six and just felt I could win.”
The men’s individual sabre final was the first of 12 individual and team event finals set to take place in Leipzig until 26 July.