Kruse wins men’s foil for Great Britain at Bonn World Cup in Germany
Great Britain's Richard Kruse produced another polished all-round display to win the men's foil competition at the Bonn World Cup in Germany.
Kruse beat Italy’s Andrea Cassara 15-11 in a tense final to open the new fencing season in style, whilst the USA beat Italy 45-32 to win the men’s team foil event.
Kruse is a four-time Olympian and went into the event ranked second in the World, meaning he was able to bypass the qualification round and go straight into the knock-out stages. The thirty-five year old eased through those early rounds beating Belgium’s Stef de Greef 15-7 and then Frenchmen Maximilien Chastenet and Jeremy Cadot respectively, both by 15-8 scorelines.
That brought a quarter-final meeting with the 2013 World Champion, Miles Chamley-Watson of the USA and in a gritty battle during which the American protested on a few occasions, Kruse won 15-11 to make the semi-finals.
There he met another French fencer, Enzo Lefort. The British fencer led 8-6 at the first break but there was little sign of either fencer establishing full control of the fight. That was until Kruse dominated the second period, mixing his impressive defence and blocking counter-attacks with some beautifully timed attacks, going on to win 15-10.
In the other semi-final, two times European Champions and 2011 World Champion, Italy’s Andrea Cassara beating rising American star, Nick Itkin by a similar 15-10 scoreline, bringing Kruse and Cassara together for the eighth time at a major tournament.
In the early stages, the Italian was the aggressor which successfully built him a small lead. Kruse changed to a more offensive approach himself and closed the gap using fast and accurate attacks before eventually leading 9-5 at the break. These well timed attacks also gave Kruse the opportunity to mix up his game to surprise his opponent and make more use of his closing counter-attack. The Italian increased his attacking intensity after the break but Kruse was able to revert to his defensive approach and led 12-8 half way through the period.
An increasingly frustrated Cassara continued to hunt down Kruse but the British fencer was stoic in his defence and he finished the fight with a perfectly executed attack into preparation taking the first title of the season 15-11.
Speaking afterwards, Kruse said, “I’m very pleased to win the World Cup in Bonn.
This was the only World Cup I hadn’t medalled in to date so I’m pleased to have changed that. This pushes the tally up to eight world cup victories, if I could make it to 10 then I will be able to retire happy!”
In the men’s team foil event, Team USA proved too strong for their Italian opponents, winning comfortable by a 45-32 scoreline.
It closed an impressive performance by the Amercians who had earlier accounted for Japan in the semi-finals 45-30. Italy had reached the gold medal match thanks to a narrow 45-40 success over France.