Two women’s sabre World Cup events have delivered double gold for France in Sint-Niklaas, and wins for Germany and Korea in Budapest.
Sint-Niklaas Women’s Saber World Cup
Manon Brunet has won her fourth career World Cup title by defeating Russia’s Olga Nikitina, 15-14, in the final of the women’s sabre World Cup event in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. Earlier, she was too good for Nikitina’s Russian teammate, Yana Egorian, defeating her 15-13 to reach the decider. Brunet’s opponent was also too good for Romania’s Bianca Pascu, winning by 15-14 in their semi, to ensure that she would at least win silver — her first senior international medal.
The tournament threw up a number of upsets, with all five of the world’s top five, Sofia Velikya (17th), Cecilia Berder (18th), Anna Marton (9th), Sofia Pozdniakova (19th) and Olga Kharlan (10th) finishing well outside of the medal rounds. USA’s double-Olympic gold medalist, Mariel Zagunis — still returning to the sport following injury and motherhood — was also an early departure, crashing out to Italy’s Sofia Ciaraglia, 15-3, in the table of 64.
In the team’s event, France — and Brunet — was again successful, narrowly defeating Russia, 45-43, to win the gold. Italy and Poland were the beaten semifinalists, and in the bronze medal playoff, Italy was too good for Poland, winning 45-29.
Budapest Men’s Saber World Cup
In the men’s sabre event in Budapest, Germany’s Max Hartung has won his second career World Cup title by defeating Korea’s world-number 2 Sanguk Oh, 15-12, in the final at the Ludovika Arena. After out-classing experienced Romanian, Tiberiu Dolniceanu, 15-5 in the semi, it was a much tighter bout against Oh, who has been in good form this season, winning the recent Grand Prix round in Cairo. To claim another World Cup silver, he overcame Iranian veteran Mojtaba Abedini, 15-10 in the other semifinal, before going down to Hartung in the gold medal bout. For Abedini it was a first World Cup bronze, meaning he finally has the complete set, following two silvers, and the gold he won back in January, 2009 in Iran.
Hartung has been in strong form this season, twice winning World Cup bronze — in Poland and Italy — and defeated USA’s world-number one Eli Dershwitz, 15-12 in the table of 8, to make his way to the medal rounds. Two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist and local hero, Aron Szilagyi, went out in the table of 16 to Russia’s former World Champion, Veniamin Reshetnikov, 15-6, who was in turn defeated by world-number 21, Dolniceanu.
In the team event, Korea proved their class to take gold over Hungary 45-41 in a match watched closely by local fans. Hungary had defeated Italy 45-43 in the semifinals, while Korea beat Germany 45-44. In the bronze medal playoff, Italy defeated Germany 45-29.
Full Results Men’s Sabre World Cup – Budapest
1. Max Hartung (GER, gold)
2. Sanguk Oh (KOR, silver)
3. Mojtaba Abedini (IRI, bronze)
3. Tiberiu Dolniceanu (ROU, bronze)
5. Eli Dershwitz (USA)
6. Kamil Ibragimov (RUS)
7. Veniamin Reshetnikov (RUS)
8. Ilya Motorin (RUS)
1. Korea (gold)
2. Hungary (silver)
3. Italy (bronze)
Full Results Women’s Sabre World Cup – Sint-Niklaas
1. Manon Brunet (FRA, gold)
2. Olga Nikitina (RUS, silver)
3. Yana Egorian (RUS, bronze)
3. Bianca Pascu (ROU, bronze)
5. Jiyeon Kim (KOR)
6. Anna Bashta (RUS)
7. Xiaoye Jia (CHN)
8. Lucia Martin-Portugues (ESP).
1. France (gold)
2. Russia (silver)
3. Italy (bronze)