France’s Brunet and Team USA win gold in Women’s Sabre World Cup in Yangzhou
France’s Manon Brunet underlined her status as the women’s world number two sabre fencer by winning the individual event at the Women’s Sabre World Cup event in Yangzhou, China.
Victory and the gold medal for Brunet crowned a productive weekend’s work for the French in China as they also made the finals in the women’s team sabre event before encountering defeat against the USA.
More than 130 women fencers from 16 national teams made their way to take part in the latest World Cup event in Yangzhou.
Brunet, currently ranked second in the world, produced a fine performance throughout the course of the women’s individual competition. Having negotiated the pool stages and early knockout rounds, she progressed to the gold medal match by beating Italy’s Martina Criscio in the semi-finals
Here Brunet faced her French compatriot and teammate, Sara Balzer, and she was in mood for sentiment, winning comfortably by 15 touches to 7.
It was the 21-year-old’s second world-cup gold medal, after winning the Orleans World Cup in her home country last year. The French champion also took a silver medal last month at the Athens World Cup. For Balzer, winning silver was her best-ever result at this level of world competition.
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Mariel Zagunis was back in competition after several months break from competition and shared bronze with Criscio after her semi-final defeat to Balzer.
In the team event, the USA women’s sabre team edged-out France in a very close match, winning by the narrow margin of 45 touches to 43, to win gold.
USA had earlier encountered another tight contest in the semi-finals by narrowly beating Hungary by only one point, 45-44.
Italy then took the bronze medal against Hungary, winning with a final score of 45-25.
The next World Cup event takes place this weekend with the women’s individual and team foil competitions in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany from 31 March to 1 April.