A dream match-up of the 2016 Olympic/2017 World Champion vs. the 2018 World Champion was the climax of the FIE Foil Grand Prix in Anaheim, California.
The match between no. 1-ranked Inna Deriglazova (RUS) and no. 2 Alice Volpi of Italy delivered as promised, with a 15-14 final and another win for Deriglazova.
If the women’s final was a classic, the men’s was a shock. No. 2-ranked (and 2018 world Champion) Alessio Foconi and no. 10-ranked Ka Long Cheung (HKG) both lost in the semifinals, to no. 67 Julien Martine of France and no. 76 Tommaso Marini of Italy!
So Mertine, 30, faced the 18-year-old Marini in the final, and the veteran came through with a 15-11 victory. It was Mertine’s first medal in more than a year and his first-ever Grand Prix win; he had scored one World Cup victory back in 2012.
For Marini, it was his first Grand Prix medal ever! Summaries:
FIE Foil Grand Prix
Anaheim, California (USA) ~ 16-17 March 2019
(Full results here)
Men: 1. Julien Mertine (FRA); 2. Tommaso Marini (ITA); 3. Alessio Foconi (ITA) and Ka Long Cheung (HKG). Semis: Mertine d. Cheung, 15-13; Marini d. Foconi, 15-9. Final: Mertine d. Marini, 15-11.
Women: 1. Inna Deriglazova (RUS); 2. Alice Volpi (ITA); 3. Larisa Korobeynikova (RUS) and He-Seok Jeon (KOR). Semis: Deriglazova d. Korobeynikova, 15-7; Volpi d. Jeon, 15-9. Final: Deriglazova d. Volpi, 15-14.