Russia’s Deriglazova and France’s Mertine land gold at FIE’s Absolute Fencing Gear Grand Prix in
Russia’s Inna Deriglazova and France’s Julien Mertine emerged as the winners of the weekend’s 2019 Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix in Anaheim, California, USA
Deriglazova won gold in the women’s foil after a nail-biting Final encounter with Italy’s Alice Volpi, while Mertine took the gold medal in the men’s competition beating Italy’s Tommaso Marini.
This latest event, the fifth of nine in the International Fencing Federation’s (FIE) global Grand Prix series, saw 340 international fencers make their way to California participate over the course of three days at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The women’s individual foil event more than lived up to expectations with two-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist Deriglazova coming up against Italy’s world champion, Volpi, to decide the destination of the gold medal.
In what was a pulsating and memorable Final, the encounter was decided by a single touch in favour of Deriglazova with a 15-14 scoreline.
Deriglazova had enjoyed a consistent path to the Final with some comfortable victories including a 15-4 success over Italian Erica Cipressa in the quarter-finals, ahead of eliminating her teammate, Larisa Korobeynikova, 15-7 in the semi-finals.
Likewise Volpi enjoyed a steady passage to the gold medal decider, beating teammate Martina Batini 15-4 in the last eight and then Korea’s Hee Sook Jeon in the semi-finals, 15-9.
Korobeynikova was something of a surprise package of the women’s competition as she beat Italy’s two-time world champion Arianna Errigo in the quarter-finals, 15-12, this on the back of defeating another Italian, Olympic gold medallist Elisa Di Francisca, in the round of 16, 15-13.
The men’s foil competition pitted two fencers making their first FIE Final appearances against each other for the gold medal.
Mertine had the edge to pull away from his Italian counterpart Marini, winning with a 15-11 score.
To get to what was both fencers best career finishes, Marini beat his teammate and world champion Alessio Foconi in the semi-final, 15-9, and also beat another fellow compatriot, Olympic gold medallist Daniele Garozzo by a single point 15-14 at the round of 32 stage.
Mertine overcame Hong Kong’s Ka Long Cheung, 15-13 in the semi-finals, this after pulling off his own surprise result by beating Italy’s world champion Andrea Cassara in the quarter-finals, 15-11.
The next FIE Grand Prix action comes next month with the men’s and women’s sabre Grand Prix in Seoul, South Korea, from 26 to 28 April.