FENCING Preview: World Championships return to Budapest with Foconi, Navarria and Volpi all top-seeded for Italy

Russia's Olympic and World Foil Champion Inna Deriglazova

The FIE World Championships are back in Budapest for the first time since 2013, with more than 1,000 fencers beginning preliminary competitions on a program that will last through 23 July. The schedule of finals:

● 18 July: Women/Epee, Men/Sabre
● 19 July: Women/Foil, Men/Epee
● 20 July: Women/Sabre, Men/Foil
● 21 July: Women/Team Epee, Men/Team Sabre
● 22 July: Women/Team Foil, Men/Team Epee
● 23 July: Women/Team Sabre, Men/Team Foil

Most of the top-ranked fencers are veterans of the Olympic Games and World Championships, with Italy holding the no. 1 spot in three disciplines:

Men/Epee (226 entered):
1. Kazuyasu Minobe (JPN) ~ 2018 Asian Games Team gold medalist
2. Yannick Borel (FRA) ~ 2018 World Champion
3. Ruben Limardo Gascon (VEN) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist
4. Bogdan Nikishin (UKR) ~ 2018 Worlds bronze medalist
5. Sangyoung Park (KOR) ~ 2016 Olympic Champion

● Men/Foil (190 entered):
1. Alessio Foconi (ITA) ~ 2018 World Champion
2. Race Imboden (USA) ~ 2013-17-18 Worlds Team silver medalist
3. Daniele Garozzo (ITA) ~ 2016 Olympic Champion
4. Richard Kruse (GBR) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist
5. Ka Long Cheung (HKG)

Men/Sabre (162 entered):
1. Eli Dershwitz (USA) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist
2. Sang-Uk Oh (KOR) ~ 2017-18 Worlds Team gold medalist
3. Max Hartung (GER)
4. Aron Szilagyi (HUN) ~ 2016 Olympic Champion
5. Kamil Ibragimov (RUS) ~ 2017-18 Worlds bronze medalist

Women/Epee (189 entered):
1. Mara Navarria (ITA) ~ 2018 World Champion
2. Ana Maria Popescu (ROU) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist
3. Man Wai Vivian Kong (HKG)
4. In-Jeong Choi (KOR)
5. Coraline Vitalis (FRA)

Women/Foil (146 entered):
1. Alice Volpi (ITA) ~ 2018 World Champion; 2017 Worlds silver medalist
2. Inna Deriglazova (RUS) ~ 2016 Olympic Champion; 2017 World Champion
3. Ysoara Thibus (FRA) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist; 2017 Worlds bronze
4. Arianna Errigo (ITA) ~ 2017-18 Worlds bronze medalist
5. Elisa Di Francesca (ITA) ~ 2016 Olympic silver medalist

Women/Sabre (148 entered):
1. Sofya Velikaya (RUS) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalist
2. Olga Kharlan (UKR) ~ 2017 World Champion
3. Sofia Pozdniakova (RUS) ~ 2018 World Champion
4. Manon Brunet (FRA) ~ 2019 European silver medalist
5. Eliza Stone (USA) ~ 2018 Worlds bronze medalist

Looking at the top fives, Italy has six fencers ranked, then France and Russia have four and the U.S. and Korea have three. Perhaps the most intriguing match-up is in women’s Foil, where Russian Deriglazova has won just about every title available and is the 2015 and 2017 World Champion as well as the 2016 Olympic gold medalist. Deriglazova has a 12-2 mark against no. 1-ranked Volpi and a nine-match winning streak against her.

The U.S. will be looking to a powerful Foil squad led by Imboden (ranked 2) for medals, as well as Sabre star Dershwitz (1) and Stone (5).

The top-ranked fencers are conveniently listed in the FIE press kit, available here.

Look for results here.

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