Fencing Grand Prix Shanghai 2015, Day 1

The 2015 Shanghai Foil Grand Prix opened today, Friday 15th May, with a superb turnout of 145 women and 176 men competing in this important pre-Olympic season.

More than medals, the rankings that result from this event can determine qualification for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro—so the stakes are high and the passion is building.

Today’s preliminary rounds take the competition to the women’s finals on Saturday and men’s finals on Sunday, both of which take place in the atrium of the ultra-chic Westgate Shopping Mall located in one of Shanghai’s most elite districts. The top-16 fencers of each group did not have to fence today, with a bye into the elimination rounds this weekend.

The best foil fencers in the world are here, and in top condition as they battle for gold. While many of the fencers have been competing since well before the Athens 2004 Olympic Games – such as Hungary’s Aida Mohamed, Italy’s Valentina Vezzali and Andrea Baldini, Germany’s Peter Joppich, and Russia’s Renal Ganeev – there are many new faces fresh out of the junior rankings looking to upset the established leaders in the sport.

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