FENCING: Italy and Russia go 1-2 in Foil World Cups, with another win for Cassara and Deriglazova

Italy's Olympic and World Championships Foil medalist Andrea Cassara

Veterans dominated the Foil World Cups in Russia (men) and Germany (women). Italy went 1-2 in the men’s event, with 2011 World Champion Andrea Cassara, 33, winning over no. 1-ranked Alessio Foconi in a 15-13 final.

Now 35, Cassara is showing no signs of slowing, so he may have to look for more space for his astonishing medal collection. Over a 16-year career, he now has won 35 World Cup medals (17-12-16) and 23 Grand Prix podiums (11-6-6) for a total of 57 “regular-season” medals to go along with a 2004 Olympic bronze and two World Champs medals.

He broke a tie with Foconi in their all-time series against each other, winning for the fourth time in their seven matches.

In Tauberbischofsheim (GER), it was yet another victory for the dominant force in women’s Foil, Russia’s Inna Deriglazova. In another final of teammates, she dispatched Anastasia Ivanova by 13-7 in the final for her 24th World Cup medal and 12th victory.

Although just 29, Deriglazova now owns four wins in the five World Cup tournaments this season, plus a Grand Prix win in Anaheim (USA) in March. The 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Champion, she has won a career total of 24 World Cup (12-2-10) and 11 Grand Prix medals (5-5-1). That’s 35 in all.

Ivanova, also 29, is enjoying a renaissance, winning her second medal this season – she took a Grand Prix bronze in February – for her first-ever year with more than a single medal. Her last World Cup medal had been in 2016.

In the team, the powerful American men’s Foil quartet of Miles Chamley-Watson, Alexander Massialas, Race Imboden and Gerek Meinhardt won the title over Hong Kong, 45-35, and the Russian women – led by Deriglazova – won the women’s title over France, 45-33.

In the Epee Grand Prix in Cali (COL), there were surprises, but then familiar faces ended up on top of the podium. Japan’s Kazuyasu Minobe won the previous Epee Grand Prix, held in Budapest, and he made it two in a row with a tight, 15-12 win over almost-unknown Radoslaw Zawrotniak of Poland.

While Minobe came in no. 8 in the FIE World Rankings, Zawrotniak, 37, was ranked 55th and hadn’t been a Grand Prix or World Cup finalist since 2008! He did win a Grand Prix bronze back in 2015, but that’s been it. But he defeated equally-surprising Marco Fichera (ITA) in the semis and almost claimed his first Grand Prix win ever.

China’s Yiwen Sun, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, continued her ascent with her first-ever Grand Prix win, to go along with four World Cup wins between 2015-18. She overcame Ana Maria Popescu (ROU) – the 2008 Olympic silver medalist – in the semis, 14-13, and then had to deal with Italy’s Mara Navarria in the final. The reigning World Champion, Navarria gave Sun a fierce battle, but Sun won, 15-13. Ranked ninth going into the Cali tournament, look for her to move up, possibly surpassing her best-ever standing of fifth. Summaries:

FIE Epee Grand Prix
Cali (COL) ~ 3-5 May 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Kazuyasu Minobe (JPN); 2. Radoslaw Zawrotniak (POL); 3. Tristan Tulen (NED) and Marco Fichera (ITA). Semis: Minobe d. Tulen, 15-10; Zawrotniak d. Fichera, 15-12. Final: Minobe d. Zawrotniak, 15-12.

Women: 1. Yiwen Sun (CHN); 2. Mara Navarria (ITA); 3. Katrina Lehis (EST) and Ana Maria Popescu (ROU). Semis: Navarria d. Lehis, 15-10; Sun d. Popescu, 14-13. Final: Sun d. Navarria, 15-13.

FIE Foil World Cup
St. Petersburg (RUS) ~ 3-5 May 2019
(Full results here)

Men/Foil: 1. Andrea Cassara (ITA); 2. Alessio Foconi (ITA); 3. Benjamin Kleibrink (GER) and Erwann Le Pechoux (FRA). Semis: Cassara d. Kleibrink, 15-4; Foconi d. Le Pechoux, 15-12. Final: Cassara d. Foconi, 15-13.

Men/Team Foil: 1. United States (Miles Chamley-Watson, Gerek Meinhardt, Alexander Massialas, Race Imboden); 2. Hong Kong; 3. Korea; 4. France. Semis: U.S. d. Korea, 45-29; Hong Kong d. France, 45-35. Final: U.S. d. Hong Kong. 45-35.

FIE Foil World Cup
Tauberbischofsheim (GER) ~ 3-5 May 2019
(Full results here)

Women/Foil: 1. Inna Deriglazova (RUS); 2. Anastasia Ivanova (RUS); 3. Erica Cipressa (ITA) and Ysaora Thibus (FRA). Semis: Deriglazova d. Cipressa, 15-11; Ivanova d. Thibus, 15-7. Final: Deriglazova d. Ivanova, 13-7.

Women/Team Foil: 1. Russia (Deriglazova, Ivanova, Zagidullina); 2. France; 3. Italy; 4. United States (Lee Kiefer, Jacqueline Dubrovich, Nicole Ross) Semis: Russia d. Italy, 44-41; 2. France d. U.S., 45-42. Final: Russia d. France, 45-33.