Manon Brunet has upset world number one Olga Kharlan to win the last World Cup event of the season in Tunisia, while Russia has defeated France in the team event.
The win is the third World Cup victory of Manon’s career and follows a third place in the previous World Cup round in Greece in March. She defeated Kharlan 15-14 in the final in Tunis, having beaten her teammate Margaux Rifkiss in the semi (15-5) and two-time Olympic silver medalist (London ‘12, Rio ’16) Sofya Velikaya from Russia (15-7) in the quarterfinal.
Ukraine’s Kharlan, who has won five of the last nine international competitions she has entered, dating back to last year’s world championships in Germany – which she won – could not find an advantage over her determined French opponent, who now climbs to seventh in the world rankings. Kharlan also struggled to beat the experienced Romanian Bianca Pascu in their semifinal (15-14) and before that the reigning Olympic champion, Russia’s Yana Egorian (15-13).
In the team event, Russia defeated Italy (45-42) and France overcame China (45-37) to reach the gold medal match, but it was the Russian’s who were able to make up for their losses in the individual competition to claim gold 45-35, and complete their fourth team World Cup win of the season. Italy then defeated China in the bronze medal playoff 45-42, with Team USA going down to the eventual winners Russia 45-23 in the quarterfinal round.
Next stop for both France and Russia are the European Championships in Novi Sad, Croatia starting on June 16, followed by the the Worlds in Wuxi, China set to start July 19.
1. Manon Brunet (FRA)
2. Olga Kharlan (UKR)
3. Bianca Pascu (ROM)
3. Margaux Rifkiss (FRA)
5. Cecilia Berder (FRA)
6. Kim Jiyeon (KOR)
7. Yana Egorian (RUS)
8. Sofya Velikaya (RUS)