Paolo Pizzo wins another men’s individual epee World Championship title in Leipzig
Italy’s Paolo Pizzo claimed a second men’s individual epee World Championship title after taking the gold medal in the Final at the 2017 FIE World Fencing Championships in Leipzig, Germany.
The current world number two epee fencer beat two-time world champion Nikolai Novosjolov of Estonia 15-13 in a thrilling finale to what was an absorbing contest and competition at this year’s Championships.
Pizzo had to fight hard en route to making the Final, negotiating some testing battles along the way. In the last 64, he narrowly overcame the challenge of Nikita Glazkov 15-14, before beating another Russian, Pavel Sukhov, 15-13 in the last 32.
The Netherlands’ Bas Verwijlen was the Italian’s next victim by a 15-10 scoreline in the last 16, before world number 11, France’s Jean-Michel Lucenay, proved another stern test of Pizzo’s credentials in the quarter-finals as the Italian progressed thanks to another narrow 15-14 verdict. That brought a meeting with Germany’s Richard Schmidt in the semi-final where Pizzo eased through 15-10.
Novosjolov, the most recent fencer to win multiple titles in men’s epee in 2010 and 2013, enjoyed a smoother path to the Final, initially beating France’s Ronan Gustin 15-6 in the last 64, Senegal’s Alexandre Bouzaid 15-13 in the last 32, and Venezeula’s Ruben Limardo Gascon 15-8 in the last 16.
World number seven, France’s Daniel Jerent provided a tougher opponent in the quarter-finals, before Novosjolov edged into the semi-finals 15-14, where he came up against Hungarian Andras Redli who was beaten 15-10.
The Final saw both fencers playing a technical, powerful game until the end but it was Pizzo who prevailed to take the title thanks to a 15-13 scoreline.
Speaking afterwards, the clearly-delighted Italian said, “It’s another dream coming true, and I don’t know how it happens except that I am a great worker, I work so hard every day.
“This is the best from my results and I am still dreaming. I still need more time to connect my brain to this reality, and I am on another planet right now, as two-time world champion”.