LEIPZIG, Germany, July 22, 2017—The third day of finals competition begins Sunday, July 23 in Leipzig, Germany at the 2017 World Fencing Championships, featuring Men’s Individual Foil and Women’s Individual Epee. Two new world champions will be named, in the first World Fencing Championships since the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games.
Here are some important notes and historical background on the athletes and these events:
- Men’s Individual Foil
- Italy’s Daniele Garozzo is the reigning Olympic champion from Rio 2016 in men's individual foil. The last fencer to win the world title in this event as reigning Olympic champion was Italian Mauro Numa in Barcelona in 1985. Italy has both won most world titles (12) and claimed most medals (45) in men's individual foil at the World Championships. Garozzo also won the European title in Tbilisi in June 2017; the last fencer to win the European and world title in a single year was Italian Andrea Baldini in 2009.
- No men’s fencer has held world, European and Olympic titles in the men's individual foil at the same time.
- In 2011, Italy won gold, silver and bronze in this event in front of a home crowd in Catania with Andrea Cassara claiming the world title. Since then, Italy has claimed only one medal in this event, when Valerio Aspromonte finished in third place in Budapest 2013.
- Cassara and USA’s Miles Chamley-Watson (Budapest, 2013) could both join 10 fencers in winning multiple world titles in men's individual foil. Chamley-Watson could become the first non-European fencer to win multiple world titles in his event. His teammates Alexander Massialas (second in Moscow 2015 and Olympic silver in Rio in 2016), Gerek Meinhardt (third in Moscow 2015) and Race Imboden (USA) could all become the second fencer representing United States to win the world title in the men's individual foil.
- The last fencer who won the world title in the men's individual foil aged 30 years or older was France’s Christian Noel in 1975.
- Great Britain’s Richard Kruse could become the second fencer representing Great Britain to claim a medal in men's individual foil at the World Championships, after Allan Jay won the title in 1959 and finished in third place in 1957.
- Reigning African champion Egyptian Alaaeldin Abouelkassem, who is also an Olympic silver medallist, hopes to become the first African fencer to claim a medal in this event at the World Championships.
- Women’s Individual Epee
- Italian Rossella Fiamingo won this event the last two times, in 2014 and 2015, joining France’s Laura Flessel-Colovic and Hungary’s Mariann Horvath as the only women to have won multiple world titles in women’s epee. Just like Fiamingo, Horvath (1991-1992) and Flessel-Colovic (1998-1999) won their world titles in back-to-back years. Fiamingo could now become the first fencer to win three world titles in women's individual epee. She can become the eighth woman with at least three medals in this event at the World Championships. The current record holder is Flessel-Colovic, with six (two gold, one silver, three bronze).
- Fiamingo was the second Italian fencer to emerge victorious in this event, following Laura Chiesa in 1994. This puts Italy at three world titles in this event, equal most with France and Hungary. Cuba, Germany, Poland and Estonia are next, with two each.
- Hungarian fencers have won most medals in this event (13). The French (12) and Italians (8) are second and third. Hungary's last medal in this event came at the 2013 World Championships, when Emese Szasz-Kovacs claimed bronze in front of a home crowd in Budapest. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Szasz-Kovacs defeated Fiamingo for the gold in the Olympic medal. The last fencer to win the women's individual epee world title as reigning Olympic champion was a Hungarian, Timea Nagy, in Torino in 2006.
- The last German fencer to win this event was Britta Heidemann, who achieved this feat 10 years ago in 2007 in St. Petersburg. Heidemann won her fourth and last medal in this event at age 31 in 2014 in Kazan, Russia. In that year, she lost to Fiamingo in the final. Heidemann has earned Germany's last three medals in this event.
- In 2015, Fiamingo defeated Sweden’s Emma Samuelsson in the final. Samuelsson posted the best result in history in this event by a Swedish fencer and won her country its first medal in this event since 2001.
- In Rio, China’s Yiwen Sun defeated France’s Lauren Rembi in the bronze medal match. China's only gold medal in this event came in 2011 in Catania, Italy, when Li Na triumphed.
- Tunisia’s Sarra Besbes is already the only woman to have won a medal in this event representing an African country, after she claimed bronze in Moscow 2015.