France win gold in men’s team epee, Italy claim women’s team sabre title in Leipzig
The French and Italian fencing teams were gold medal winners on an exciting night of action at the 2017 FIE World Fencing Championships in Leipzig, Germany.
France produced a great comeback to win the men’s team epee event, whilst Italy claimed a historic success in the women’s team sabre event.
In the men’s team epee event, the French men’s team came from behind to stun their opponents Switzerland in the Final.
From a starting field of nearly 40 national teams from around the world, France, the reigning Olympic champions and leader in world titles, looked down and out in their Final with the Swiss. However a close match went all the way to the end, with world number one Yannick Borel being the hero. He started with a seven touch deficit but recovered the situation for the French and earn them the gold medal with a score of 45-43
To get to the gold medal match, the Swiss eased out Hungary in the semi-final, winning 37-32, while France defeated Russia in another close encounter 45-43.
Russia had the consolation of earning the bronze medal, beating Hungary 45-38, with Italy, Ukraine, Estonia and Egypt making up the top eight rankings.
There was a surprise in the women’s team sabre event as Italy stunned South Korea to take the world title.
Twenty five women’s teams from around the world participated in the competition and it was the Italian quartet who swept aside their Asian rivals 45-27 in the Final to take gold.
Their success was the first time since Havana 2003 that an Italian women’s sabre team has earned a gold medal at the World Championships, and adds to the European title the team won in Tbilisi back in June.
In the semi-finals, Italy defeated France 45-42, and Korea eased past Japan, 45-32.
The bronze medal and third place went to France thanks to their 45-39 victory over Japan who finished fourth as a result.
There was disappointment for the reigning Olympic champions, Russia, who have won this event more than any other country, but they had to settle for fifth place, with Ukraine, USA and Mexico filling the other top eight rankings.