Russian epee fencers return to leading positions
The Russian team won three gold and three bronze medals at the World Fencing Championships held in Leipzig, finished second in the overall medals standings of the tournament, they succumbed to the Italian team only. The athletes competed for 12 medal sets in individual and team epee, foil and sabre events among men and women. Russian epee fencers won the bronze medal in the team epee competitions. The foil fencers Inna Deriglazova and Dmitry Zherebchenko, as well as epee fencer Tatiana Gudkova, won gold in individual competitions.
"Tatyana Gudkova's medal was deserved. She's worked long enough for this moment. I was hoping for this award as well. It's a victory, which gives us only joy, returning our epee fencers to the former level. By the way, the men's team did well too. Let's hope that the epee team will form in the near future. Unfortunately, Yana Zvereva, who represented our team in Europe, was injured on the eve of the departure to the World Cup, and I think the women's team performed very good there. This team must make it to the Olympic Games and compete for high awards. Girls have been working really hard, they deny themselves many ways and purposefully moving towards their aims," the president of the Russian Fencing Federation Alexander Mikhailov said.
According to him, the change of coaches also influenced the result. "The Italian coach could not manage two teams. Now Alexander Glazunov took the helm of the men's epee. Finishing second is not a big deal. For many years our team did not win gold medals at the European Championships. And here we are, the men's epee won bronze medals at the world championships, which is encouraging," Mikhailov said.
In his words, they are currently rotating the athletes: "Up to 50% of fencers retired from the national team to various reasons, new athletes came. They are learning each other. New teams are being formed up. We hope that this teams will be fighting for the medals at the 2020 Olympics".