Navarria and Kim take first gold medals of 2018 Senior Fencing World Championships in Wuxi
Italy’s Mara Navarria and Korea’s Junghwan Kim took the first gold medals of the 2018 Senior Fencing World Championships in Wuxi, China at the first day of the finals competition.
Navarria took gold in the women’s individual epee whilst Kim secured the title in the men’s individual sabre in the first of the 12 individual and team competitions taking place at the expansive Wuxi Sports Center Gym.
In what is the first complete fencing world championship ever held in China, three days of individual preliminary competition have already taken place with the official opening ceremony held before the semi-finals in these opening competitions.
More than 120 women’s epee fencers competed in the women’s individual epee event which saw Navarria win the final match against Romania’s Olympic silver medallist Ana Maria Popescu, 13-9.
Earlier Navarria had beaten Switzerland’s Laura Staehli, 15-8 in the semi-final, while Popescu narrowly defeated USA’s Courtney Hurley, 14-13. Staehli pulled off one of the results of the competition at the quarter-final stage, beating one of the favourites, Hungarian Olympic gold medallist Emese Szasz-Kovacs, 14-13.
In the men’s individual sabre final, Olympic bronze medallist Junghwan Kim beat USA’s Eli Dershwitz, 15-11, to win the gold medal.
Similar to the women’s event, more than 120 men’s sabre fencers competed in the competition which saw Junghwan Kim beat Russia’s Kamil Ibragimov, 15-13 in the semi-finals where Dershwitz overcame Korea’s Junho Kim in a very tight match, 15-14.
Eventual winner Kim also defeated his teammate and top-ranked Bongil Gu in the quarter-finals, 15-10, while Dershwitz beat two-time Hungarian gold medallist Aron Szilagyi, 15-11, in the same round.
The 2018 Senior World Fencing Championships are being held until 27 July with the world’s leading fencers competing in 12 individual and team events in epee, foil, and sabre.