Turkey, Russia Take the Gold Medals for the First Night of Fencing Action
Today’s opening of the Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria featured about 200 young men and women from around the world competing in cadet men’s sabre and women’s epee. This is the third time since 2004 that the Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships have been held on these fairgrounds.
Throughout the day, which included pool rounds followed by direct eliminations, the teen swordsmen competed fiercely in the massive Plovdiv International Fair facility. After a rousing opening ceremony featuring Bulgarian traditional dancers and a parade of flags of the more than 100 participating nations, as well as introductions by local and international leaders from Plovdiv and the International Fencing Federation (FIE), semi-finals and finals in both events were held before an enthusiastic audience.
The semi-finals included men’s sabre fencers from USA, Russia, Turkey, and Korea, while the women’s epee semis featured athletes from Czech Republic, Hungary, and Russia. Turkey’s Ibrahim Ahmed Acar took the gold medal in the final match of Men’s Cadet Sabre against USA’s Christopher Walker, 15-13. Acar nearly lost the semi-final to Jaeyoon Lim after the Korean had a spectacular comeback, actually scoring a winning 15-14 touch before having his victory overturned by a red-card penalty. Walker defeated Russian Nikita Presnov in the semi-final, 15-10.
Russia had another chance at gold in the women’s epee final, and this time took the prize with Aizanat Murtazaeva winning with a strong lead 15-10 over Hungary’s Tamara Gnam. The Russian defeated Hungary’s Renata Petri 15-13 in the semi-final, while Gnam took out Czech Republic’s Anna Coufalova 15-9 in the second semi round.
Top-eight finalists in men’s sabre included Ibrahim Ahmed Acar (TUR, gold), Christopher Walker (USA, silver), Nikita Presnov (RUS, bronze), Jaeyoon Lim (KOR, bronze), Arne De Ridder (BEL), Louis Haag (GER), Ivan Pysarenko (UKR), and Magamed Khalimbekov (RUS).
In Women’s Cadet Epee, the final eight included Aizanat Murtazaeva (RUS, gold), Tamara Gnam (HUN, silver), Anna Coufalova (CZE, bronze), Renatta Petri (HUN, bronze), Evgeniya Zharkova (RUS), Zsuzsa Schlier (ROU), Lea Mayer (GER), and Eszter Muhari (HUN).