2016 Olympic Qualification - Men's Epee Update

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by downunder, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. downunder

    downunder is a Verified Fencing Expertdownunder Podium

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    Men’s Epee

    Despite their disappointment at world championships, France are comfortable leaders of the Men’s Epee “Race to Rio”. As a package, no team looks nearly as complete and the real challenge for Hugues Obry will be to determine the best 3 fencers for both individual and team success. Not easy when you have 8 fencers in the top 50 in the world, including more venerable members of the squad that have won Olympic medals in the past.

    Ukraine have consolidated second place following their world championship win and have probably locked in their place at Rio already. Italy have been on an upward trajectory this year to date, showing consistent improvement after a disappointing European championship. Silver in Tallinn has made them firm favourites for direct qualification

    Russia are starting to show how to fence like a team under Angelo Mazzoni, who they poached from Switzerland. Winning the gold medal over France in Berne was a major statement.

    After World and European bronze medals, Switzerland appeared to be a certainty for qualification. Two losses in the last 16 at Legnano and Berne has made the equation slightly tougher but they should have the quality to finish either 4th, 5th or 6th (with no eligible African nation) and guarantee qualification. Bronze in Tallinn has restored order somewhat.

    To finish in the top 4, South Korea will have to show form like their World Championship silver medal, rather than last 32 and last 16 losses we’ve seen at the three world cups to date. In any case, their route through zonal qualification is certain – Kazakhstan and Japan would certainly prefer they finished in the top 4.

    A tough start to the season from the USA has basically locked in the Pan American zonal place to Venezuela. Surprisingly, Canada are well inside the top 16 after an incredible 4th place finish in Berne (including a victory over Switzerland!) so could benefit if Venezuela threaten the top 4 – unlikely, but not impossible.

    As it stands, the African zone will not get a team at the games unless Egypt can win some last 32 matches. Whilst Egypt have made regular last 16’s in the past, on current form it looks unlikely, so the place is expected to be given back to the strongest non-qualifying team. Germany and Hungary are lurking in the wings to poach that final team place in Rio.

    Key Dates
    23rd January – Heidenheim
    14th February – Vancouver – Final Selection Competition
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  2. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    Wouldn't USA benefit just as much as Canada if Venezuela threatens the top 4 since USA is just 2 points behind Canada? I'm the ever optimist so that'd be really awesome. Also I'm friends with a number of the US Olympic men's epee candidates, and it'd really, really suck if none of them made it, not to mention how much it'd suck as a fan and for USA fencing in general.
     

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