Kim and Egorian secure sabre golds in Seoul Grand Prix
Junghwan Kim and Yana Egorian showed why they are the current world number one ranked sabre fencers by winning the gold medals at the SK Telecom Fencing Grand Prix in Seoul, South Korea.
Kim, competing in front of his home crowd, defeated France’s Vincent Anstett in the men’s competition, with Russia’s Egorian accounted for Hungarian Anna Marton in the women’s gold medal final.
More than 200 elite international sabre fencers competed in Seoul and lived up to expectation for what was another exciting Grand Prix competition.
Kim’s progress to the final had seen him beat compatriot and teammate, Sanguk Oh, 15-9 in the quarter-finals, before winning 15-13 in the semi-finals Italy’s Luca Curatoli.
And the 33-year-old Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist could not afford to ease off in that gold medal match against France’s Vincent Anstett. In an exciting final, the pair fought out a close encounter, Kim eventually prevailing 15-12 to secure a fourth Grand Prix gold medal.
Ansett’s path to the final showdown also saw him face another Korean fencer in the shape of Hansol Ha, who he beat 15-7. That brought him up against Germany’s Benedikt Wagner in the semi-finals and the Frenchman dominated a one-sided tie winning 15-4. Wagner had earlier eliminated Italian Olympic champion Aldo Montano in the quarter-finals, 15-7.
In the women’s competition, 23 year-old Egorian, showed why she is the current world number one with a dominant display throughout the tournament.
She made the gold medal match by beating two French fencers in quick succession; eliminating Charlotte Lembach 15-7 in the quarter-finals before defeating Cecilia Berder 15-12 in the semi-finals.
That brought up a final showdown with Hungarian Marton, who had defeated two-time Olympic gold medallist Mariel Zagunis of USA 15-11 in the quarter-finals.
In what was a similar story to the men’s competition, the pair fought out a close and exciting contest with Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Egorian winning by a score of 15-12 to claim her third Grand Prix title.
Silver for Marton was a second Grand Prix silver medal this season after her runner-up performance in the Cancun Grand Prix in December last year.
The Seoul 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, all leading up to the upcoming 2017 Senior Fencing World Championships, being held this July in Leipzig, Germany.
The next Grand Prix event is in Shanghai, China, with the men’s and women’s foil competitions held on 19 May.