YANGZHOU, China – France’s Manon Brunet is taking gold home from China this weekend after winning the individual event at the Yangzhou Women’s Sabre World Cup. France also made the finals against USA in the women’s team sabre event, although the American women won the match. More than 130 women fencers participated in the event, with 16 teams.
Brunet, currently ranked second in the world, faced her teammate, Sara Balzer, in the final. This was the 21-year-old’s second world-cup gold medal, after winning the Orleans World Cup in her home country last year. The French champion also took a silver medal last month at the Athens World Cup. For Balzer, winning silver was her best-ever result at this level of world competition. Two-time Olympic gold medallist Mariel Zagunis, back in competition after a several month break, shared bronze with Italy’s Martina Criscio.
The top-eight overall individual ranking from Yangzhou places Manon Brunet in first place (FRA, gold), followed by Sara Balzer (FRA, silver), Martina Criscio (ITA, bronze), Mariel Zagunis (USA, bronze), Rossella Gregorio (ITA), Saoussen Boudiaf (FRA), Monica Aksamit (USA), and Sabina Mikina (AZE).
The USA women’s sabre team edged-out France in a very close match, 45-43, to win gold. USA had another tight round with Hungary in the semi-finals, narrowly winning by only one point, 45-44. Italy then took the bronze medal against Hungary, winning with a final score of 45-25.
Overall team rankings place USA in first place (gold), followed by France (silver), Italy (bronze), Hungary, Korea, China, Ukraine, and Spain.