The World Cup fencing season continued its opening round of events with the first men’s sabre event taking place in Algeria over the November 16th to 18th weekend. Korea’s Hansol Ha won his first senior individual World Cup medal, a gold, before picking up another one in the team competition.
Hansol Ha has won his first senior World Cup gold medal in Algiers, Algeria, over the weekend, defeating 11th-ranked Italian Luigi Samele 15-9 in the final of the men’s sabre competition. To get there, he defeated his teammate and world number five, Sanguk Oh (15-10) in the semifinal, and Romania’s Tiberiu Dolniceanu in the quarterfinal (15-7) before that.
Italy’s Samele had also beaten a teammate to reach the decider, Enrico Berre’, (15-13) before losing to the 24-year-old Korean in the final, though it was still his best international result since a Grand Prix gold in Cancun, Mexico in December, 2016.
World number one Eli Dershwitz could only manage 17th place after crashing out against Dolniceanu in the second elimination round, while world number two, Korea’s Bongil Gu, achieved his worst international result since a World Cup event in Athens, Greece in April, 2011. He was defeated by Japan’s Kenta Tokunan, 15-13 in the table of 64, while Jeff Spear was the next best placed American, finishing 27th overall.
In the team event, it was Korea who again took gold. They defeated Russia in the final, 45-30, having earlier been able to overcome their German semifinal opponents, 45-40. Russia defeated Italy 45-43, before the Germans took bronze over the Italians by the narrowest of margins, 45-44. Team USA finished outside of the top 8 at 9th.
The women’s event gets underway this weekend at the Algiers Hacha Hassan Arena.
Men’s Individual Sabre
1. Hansol Ha (KOR, gold)
2. Luigi Samele (ITA, silver)
3. Enrico Berre’ (ITA, bronze)
3. Sanguk Oh (KOR, bronze)
5. Bolade Apithy (FRA)
6. Sandro Bazadze (FIE)
7. Tiberiu Dolniceanu (ROU)
8. Konstantin Lokhanov (RUS)
1. Korea (gold)
2. Russia (silver)
3. Germany (bronze