Tatiana Gudkova wins women’s individual epee title at 2017 FIE World Fencing Championships in

Tatiana Gudkova wins women’s individual epee title at 2017 FIE World Fencing Championships in

25/07/2017 at 16:11Updated 25/07/2017 at 16:12

Russia’s Tatiana Gudkova became the new women’s individual epee World Champion with a polished performance at the 2017 FIE World Fencing Championships in Leipzig, Germany.

In an enthralling Final featuring two women fencers achieving the best finishes of their careers to date, the world number nine ranked Russian fencer beat Poland’s Ewa Nelip, ranked third in the world, to earn the gold medal and the World title.

Both Gudkova and Nelip fenced through a field of top-ranked, elite athletes to make the gold medal match and a shot at the title.

Gudkova beat Germany’s Monika Sozanska 13-12 in the last 64, world number 14 Injeong Choi of Korea 15-8 in the last 32, and world number 12 Irina Embrich 15-8 in the last 16. That brought a meeting with world number one, Violetta Kolobova in the quarter-finals where Gudkova won by a 15-11scoreline, before narrowly then defeating the world number two, Julia Beljajeva in the semi-final, 13-12, to make the Final.

Nelip for her part beat Argentina’s Isabel Di Tella 15-10 in the last 64, Germany’s Beate Christmann 14-9 in the last 32, ahead of narrowly progressing through the last 16 stage with victory over world number 15, Rossella Fiamingo of Italy, 13-12.

France’s Lauren Rembi proved an easier proposition for Nelip in the quarter-finals as she progressed thanks to a 15-5 scoreline, before she beat Ukraine’s Olena Kryvytska in the other semi-final, 15-10. Kryvytska had previously overcame Russia’s multi-time Olympian, Grand Prix and World Cup champion Tatiana Logunova in the last eight, 15-10.

The gold medal Final encounter was an equally tight affair but it was Gudkova who eventually hung on to take the honours, winning by 11 touches to 9.

Speaking afterwards, Gudkova said, “I’m so happy, I don’t believe it, and it took very, very hard work to win.

“I want to thank all of my team and trainers, and my next goal is to win another day, win everything, and be very strong and win the team competition here.”