Russia fences Canada to victory in spirited cadet competition including sabre, foil, and epee men and women competing together on country teams.
PLOVDIV, Bulgaria, April 4, 2017—The Cadet Mixed Three-Weapon Team competition today gave Russia a gold medal over Canada at the 2017 Junior and Cadet World Fencing Championships, with a final score of 30-21. The Russian team was anchored by Rafael Zagitov, who earned a bronze medal the previous night in the Cadet Men’s Individual Epee event.
The crowd-pleasing mixed-team format gives cadets the opportunity to fence a team event by country in a single day, while the older junior fencers compete later in the Championships in a conventional series of six weapon/gender team events, by country, over three days. Cadets from 21 countries battled in highly spirited matches throughout the day, ultimately with countries representing three continents standing on the medal podium: Russia, Canada, and Korea.
“I am glad to see the mixed-team concept at the Junior and Cadet World Championships,” said Krisztian Kulcsar, FIE Sport Director. “This inspires the development of an ‘all-arms strategy’ for many countries. The matches in the semis and final were especially interesting and exciting.”
Russia took out Romania in the first semi-final match, 30-19, to go on to the finals. In a surprising victory, Canada beat second-seeded Italy, 30-22, in the quarter-finals before enjoying another upset victory over third-seeded Korea, 30-25, to go on to the gold-medal match with Russia. In the bronze-medal match, Korea took out Romania 30-25.
The mixed-team format is the newest event in world fencing, and specifically played by cadets. Inspired by mixed zonal team matches at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games, the event was designed to encourage camaraderie among players from common regions with a format of mixed gender and weapons. In the FIE Junior & Cadet World Fencing Championships, individual countries compete against one-another. Basically, the six best fencers in each weapon and gender from each country make-up the teams, based on their results at the Championships in the three days prior to the mixed-team competition.
Consequently, a mixed-team comprises three men and three women, one in each weapon, so there are six competitors. Teams play in a relay format for six rounds up to five touches each, yielding a possible winning total of 30 points. The event is fenced in the order of sabre, foil, and epee, and the order of the genders for rounds is determined by a draw on the preceding day (this applies to all matches).
Each round is limited to three minutes. The first team to reach 30 points, or to finish with the most points after fencing three minutes of the last (sixth) round, wins. In the event of a tie, a normal priority overtime is applied.
Additional information and rules for mixed-team competition may be found in the official document for the Championships, here.