Korea’s Jung and Italy’s Fiamingo take gold at Westend Epee Grand Prix in Budapest
Korea’s Jinsung Jung and Italy’s Rossella Fiamingo produced fine performances to win the gold medals in the men’s and women’s epee competitions at the Westend Epee Grand Prix held in Budapest, Romania.
Both fencers were in sparkling form over the course of the weekend’s events as Jung overcame Japan’s Kazuyasu Minobe in the men’s competition, whilst Fiamingo accounted for Korea’s Injeong Choi in the women’s tournament.
Nearly 500 top-ranked International epee fencers made their away to the Romanian capital for the latest in the International Fencing Federation (FIE) nine-city series of grand prix events for the 2016-2017 season.
The events were held in the MOM Sport Hall in Budapest and saw multiple world and Olympic champions compete in the two competitions, with the finals held on Sunday evening.
There was almost 300 fencers in the men’s competition but it was Olympic bronze medallist Jung who emerged a worthy winner after a series of consistent performances.
The 33 year-old, ranked 19th in the world, beat France’s Ronan Gustin 15-13 in the quarter-finals before defeating Italy’s Andrea Santarelli 15-10 in the semi-final round.
That meant a showdown with world number five Minobe and Jung underlined what a big win it was for him by beating his Japanese rival 15-9 to take the title.
Minobe had earlier accounted for one of the tournament favourites, France’s Yannick Borel, in the quarter-finals thanks to a narrow 15-14 scoreline, before then beating Jung’s teammate Kyoungdoo Park in the semis, 10-10 in priority overtime.
More than 200 women epeeists competed in the women’s competition which saw world champion and Olympic silver medallist Fiamingo add to her list of honours by beating Korea’s Choi in the gold-medal final.
The 29 year old took out China’s Yiwen Sun 15-9 in the quarter-finals and Japan’s Ayaka Shimookawa 15-10 in the semi-final round, before carrying that form into the Final.
Choi, who beat France’s Laurence Epee 15-7 in the quarter-finals and then Estonia’s world champion Julia Beljajeva 13-10 in the semi-finals, had no answer to Fiamingo as the Italian powered to the gold medal with a 15-9 victory.
As well as picking up the silver medal, the 26 year-old Korean, ranked sixth in the world, had the consolation of knowing this was her best finish since winning gold at the Xuzhou, China Grand Prix in 2013.
The next FIE Grand Prix action is this weekend with the Men’s and Women’s Sabre Grand Prix event in Seoul, South Korea, from 31 March to 1 April.