Men’s epee at the Rio 2016 Grand Prix entered the final 64 today, battling towards tonight’s finals. With the best epeeists in the world, the competition delivered what it promised in fast, furious action on the pistes and a few surprises along the way. While some of the predictable champions prevailed into the top eight, such as France’s Ulrich Robeiri and Switzerland’s Max Heinzer, Italian Gabriele Cimini worked his way into the 16 by overtaking Russia’s seventh-ranked Anton Avdeev. Cimini then lost, however, to France’s Yannick Borel. The biggest upset was also in the 16, however, when first-ranked Robeiri lost to Germany’s 16th-ranked Christoph Kneip.
Going into the top eight, Switzerland’s Heinzer, Poland’s Zawrotniak, and fencers from a total of seven different countries made for a very diverse quarter-final. Sport director for the FIE and former world epee champion Krisztian Kulcsar, observing and overseeing the competition, said “We [the FIE] are very pleased that high-level fencers are here from so many countries, and that they have not only just participated but excelled at a high level.”
The semi-finals and finals featured an equally diverse group of top-notch epeeists from four countries: Germany’s Kneip, Switzerland’s Heinzer, Poland’s Zawrotniak, and France’s Borel. Making the final were Heinzer and Borel, each with significantly different epee styles: Borel fences with a more classic French technique using great weapon precision and well-timed actions, while Heinzer uses a more contortionist, speed-driven and energetic attack with low-line remises and lightning reflexes. In the end, however, Borel’s tried-and-true style prevailed to take the gold in Rio.
Live stream: Rio 2015 Women epee Grand Prix Direct Elimitation T64 - T8