27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

World Fencing Championships: Italy grabs lead in overall medal standings

Italy adds third gold to its tally as its women's foil fencing team takes the top spot on the podium at the World Fencing Championships in Kazan.

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The first playoff round served as a warm-up for the favourites of the team foil competition. The Italians easily defeated Brazil, 45-21, the Russians posted even a more comfortable win over Venezuela, 45-17, and the French team smashed the Mexican fencers, 45-16. It seemed as if the favourites didn't want to waste all their efforts ahead of tougher bouts that were to begin in the quarterfinal. 

In the next round Italy beat Germany, the Korean fencers defeated Poland and France lost to the US team. Russia faced a strong opponent, China, but managed to break down its resistance and advance to the semifinal. 

On Monday, at the women's sabre tournament, the French team upset the Russian sabre fencers by putting an end to their journey to the medal podium. In the semi, the Russian women's foil fencing team avenged their teammates' defeat and took a win, 45-37. In the final bout they were to take on the Italian team and this meet was a turning point of the entire fencing tournament as apart from deciding champions in the women's team foil its outcome was to determine a leader in the overall medal count.

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In the final, Larisa KOROBEYNIKOVA put the Russians in the lead, 10-9, by beating Martina BATINI, but Elisa DI FRANCISCA retrieved the lead for its team, 12-15. With 22-25 on the scoreboard, KOROBEYNIKOVA won the bout against DI FRANCISCA, 8-4, and gave Russia hope for the gold medals but the defending world champions managed to put a pressure and take the bout. Arianna ERRIGO, who earlier had taken the women's individual gold, produced the final push and put the nail in the coffin against Russia, 45-39. This became the 15th victory in Valentina VEZZALI's career. 

"It's a shame Russia didn't get gold. I don't even know why we failed. We keep working on it, we are trying to beat the Italians but so far they are stronger than us," Larisa Korobeynikova summed up the results of the bout. 

The French team defeated Korea and settled for bronze. 

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By beating the Russians, Italy added the team foil title to its individual foil gold. One day before the closing date of the tournament, Italy boasts 3 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. The Russian national team has 7 medals: 2 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze.

Press Department of Executive Directorate of Sports Projects

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