Borel continues French dominance in men’s epee with gold at Wuxi Fencing World Championships
Yannick Borel continued France’s impressive record in the men’s individual epee after winning the gold medal on the second evening of finals competition at the 2018 Wuxi Fencing World Championships.
Borel faced Venezuela’s Ruben Limardo Gascon in the Final and comfortably overcame the challenge of the Olympic gold medallist to win with a 15-4 scoreline.
In doing so, Borel is the second fencer ever to win men’s individual epee at both the European and world championships in a single year, following on from France’s Hugues Obry back in 1998. The success also means France has now won a record 14 world titles in the men’s individual epee, however this triumph is only the second time it has been won in the last decade, the last coming when Ulrich Robeiri took the gold four years ago.
Borel’s route to the Final and eventual gold medal was not without its scares along the way. Having eased past Vietnam’s Phuoc Den Nguyen 15-8 at the table of 64 stage, the Frenchman survived two closely-fought encounters first with Israel’s Grigori Beskin at the table of 32 stage and then Japan’s Koki Kano in the last 16, on both occasions winning by a single touch, 15-14.
The quarter-finals brought a meeting with the world number eight, Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Alexanin, with Borel progressing with some ease by 15-5 score, ahead of semi-final meeting with Ukrainian Roman Svichkar, which the French star took out 15-11.
The Final turned out to be something of a one-sided affair with Borel in control from the start and going onto secure gold in dominant fashion, winning 15-4.
Gascon, the current world number four ranked epee fencer, enjoyed a fairly smooth passage in the opening knockout stages before negotiating a quarter-final success over Korean Olympic gold medallist Sangyoung Park 13-10, ahead of taking out Ukrainian Bogdan Nikishin in the semi-finals, 7-4.