Batini and Kruse win gold in foil at Shanghai FIE Grand Prix
Italy’s Martina Batini and Great Britain’s Richard Kruse produced fine performances to emerge as the big winners from the weekend’s FIE Foil Grand Prix in Shanghai, China.
Batini recorded a best ever win to take gold in the women’s competition, whilst success and gold for Kruse was his best return this season to date.
Nearly 300 international top-ranked fencers made their way to Shanghai to take part in the weekend’s competition which saw several lower-ranked world fencers achieve best-ever finishes.
There was a dramatic finish in the women’s competition as 28-year-old Batini edged out the world number one and Olympic champion Inna Deriglazova of Russia lost by a single touch, 15-14.
The Italian made her way to the gold medal match by beating fellow compatriot Beatrice Monaco 15-12 in the quarter-finals, before accounting for another Russian, Svetlana Tripapina, in the semi-final, 15-10.
Deriglazova for her part had a slightly more comfortable route to the final, beating Batini’s teammate, Alice Volpi, 15-10 in the quarter-finals, and then taking out France’s Ysaora Thibus with a 15-5 scoreline in the semi-finals.
In the men’s competition, 33-year-old Great British fencer Kruse took on Italian Alessio Foconi in the final, and beat him 15-8 to take the gold medal.
The victory came after a long day of competition for Kruse who had earlier beaten Italy’s Lorenzo Nista 15-8 in the quarter-finals, and France’s Erwan Le Pechoux – who had twice previously won this same Grand Prix in Shanghai – in the semi-finals, 15-13.
Foconi enjoyed a steady progress to make the Final, beating France’s Maximilien Castanet 15-8 in the quarter-finals, before inflicting defeat on Russia’s Dmitry Zherebchenko 15-9 in the semi-final, for whom a bronze medal is a best-ever result at the Grand Prix level.
The Shanghai competition is one of nine cities in which the International Fencing Federation (FIE) is holding major Grand Prix events during this 2016-2017 fencing season. The events are staged and all lead up to the upcoming 2017 Senior Fencing World Championships being held this July in Leipzig, Germany.