FENCING: Champs Foconi and Deriglazova dominate Foil Grand Prix; four medals for U.S.

American Foil star Lee Kiefer

World Champions Alessio Foconi of Italy and Inna Deriglazova of Russia confirmed their status by winning the Foil Grand Prix titles in Shanghai (CHN), but with good news for the U.S. in both divisions.

Foconi, who won the world title in 2018, had his hands full in the final, barely defeating 19-year-old American Nick Itkin, 15-14. It was another step forward for Itkin, who won his first-ever Grand Prix medal; he won his first World Cup medal last November (a bronze) and is making big strides in an event which already a strong one for the U.S.

Deriglazova, the 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Champion, won her sixth career Grand Prix gold and continues to dominate the women’s Foil division. She won her final, 15-10, over Italy’s 2018 World Champion, Alice Volpi.

One of the two women’s bronzes went to American Lee Kiefer, now up to fourth in the FIE World Rankings. It was her third medal this season, including two prior World Cup bronze medals. This was her sixth career Grand Prix medal.

Those were good results for the U.S. and there was more to celebrate from the Epee World Cup in Dubai, as American women won two medals: an individual silver for Courtney Hurley and a team silver for Katharine Holmes, Courtney and Kelley Hurley and Catherine Nixon.

For Courtney Hurley, the silver against Korea’s Injeong Choi was her second career World Cup medal after a bronze in Chengdu (KOR) in March, to go along with her 2018 World Championships bronze medal, won in China. The American team lost to Poland in the Team final.

In Paris (FRA), the men’s Epee World Cup was taken by Korea’s Sangyoung Park, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist. It was his first World Cup or Grand Prix medal of the season and his first win in either level of tournament since a 2017 World Cup victory in Bern (SUI). He defeated surprise finalist Nikita Glazkov (RUS), 27, who won his only other career World Cup medal back in 2016, also in Bern. Summaries:

FIE Foil Grand Prix
Shanghai (CHN) ~ 17-19 May 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Alessio Foconi (ITA); 2. Nick Itkin (USA); 3. Chun Yin Ryan Choi (HKG) and Timur Safin (RUS). Semis: Itkin d. Safin, 15-7; Foconi d. Choi, 15-11. Final: Foconi d. Itkin, 15-14.

Women: 1. Inna Deriglazova (RUS); 2. Alice Volpi (ITA); 3. Arianna Errigo (ITA) and Lee Kiefer (USA). Semis: Deriglazova d. Errigo, 15-10; Volpi d. Kiefer, 15-9. Final: Deriglazova d. Volpi, 15-10.

FIE Epee World Cup
Paris (FRA) ~ 17-19 May 2019
(Full results here)

Men/Epee: 1. Sangyoung Park (KOR); 2. Nikita Glazkov (RUS); 3. Gergely Siklosi (HUN) and Mate Tamas Koch (HUN). Semis: Glazkov d. Koch, 15-10; Park d. Siklosi, 15-1. Final: Park d. Glazkov, 15-13.

Men/Team: 1. Switzerland; 2. France; 3. Italy; 4. Spain. Semis: France d. Spain, 45-26; Switzerland d. Italy, 36-27. Third: Italy d. Spain, 39-37. Final: Switzerland d. France, 45-32.

FIE Epee World Cup
Dubai (UAE) ~ 17-19 May 2019
(Full results here)

Women/Epee: 1. Injeong Choi (KOR); 2. Courtney Hurley (USA); 3. Violetta Kolobova (RUS) and Man Wai Vivian Kong (HKG). Semis: Choi d. Kong, 15-6; Hurley d. Kolobova, 15-14. Final: Choi d. Hurley, 15-12.

Women/Team: 1. Poland; 2. United States (Katharine Holmes, Courtney Hurley, Kelley Hurley, Catherine Nixon); 3. Italy; 4. China. Semis: U.S. d. China, 45-35; Poland d. Italy, 36-30. Third: Italy d. China, 30-29. Final: Poland d. U.S., 41-28.