FENCING: Veterans Hartung and Velikaya score tight wins in Sabre Grand Prix events in Europe

German Sabre star Max Hartung (Photo: Wikipedia)

Germany’s Max Hartung may be, at 29, entering his prime. His victory in the FIE Sabre World Cup in Madrid (ESP) has moved him up to no. 3 in the federation’s world rankings, his highest ranking ever, with a 15-14 win over Hungary’s 2012-16 Olympic gold medalist Aron Szilagyi (HUN).

The victory continues a career year for Hartung, who also won the Budapest World Cup and took a bronze in the Seoul Grand Prix. He’s now up to seven career World Cup medals in his career (3-0-4).

American Eli Dershwitz came into the tournament ranked no. 1 and finished fifth – losing in the quarterfinals – for the fifth tournament in a row! That has to be some kind of record, but his strong showings have kept him at the top of the rankings.

The women’s Sabre World Cup in Algeria showcased no. 1-ranked Sofya Velikaya (RUS), who won over surprise finalist Jiarui Qian, 26. It was Qian’s first-ever World Cup final; she had only won one prior World Cup medal – a bronze – back in 2016.

The final was tight, with Velikaya winning, 15-12, for her third World Cup and Grand Prix medal this season. She now has, at 33, 16 career World Cup medals (7-3-6) and 23 career Grand Prix medals … that’s 39 all told, and she’s far from done. Summaries:

FIE Sabre World Cup
Madrid (ESP) ~ 10-12 May 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Sabre: 1. Max Hartung (GER); 2. Aron Szilagyi (HUN); 3. Jun-Ho Kim (KOR) and Sang-Uk Oh (KOR). Semis: Szilagyi d. Oh, 15-8; Hartung d. Kim, 15-14. Final: Hartung d. Szilagyi, 15-14.

Team Sabre: 1. Italy; 2. Russia; 3. Korea; 4. Hungary. Semis: Russia d. Korea, 45-41; Italy d. Hungary, 45-41. Third: Korea d. Hungary, 45-38. Final: Italy d. Russia, 45-31.

FIE Sabre World Cup
Tunis (ALG) ~ 10-12 May 2019
(Full results here)

Women’s Sabre: 1. Sofya Velikaya (RUS); 2. Jiarui Qian (CHN); 3. Charlotte Lembach (FRA) and Irene Vecchi (ITA). Semis: Velikaya d. Lembach, 15-6; Qian d. Vecchi, 15-14. Final: Velikaya d. Qian, 15-12.

Team Sabre: 1. Italy; 2. Ukraine; 3. Korea; 4. Japan. Semis: Ukraine d. Korea, 45-39; Italy d. Japan, 45-30. Third: Korea d. Japan, 45-43. Final: Italy d. Ukraine, 45-42.