Thursday,21 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1366, (26 October - 1 November 2017)
Thursday,21 February, 2019
Issue 1366, (26 October - 1 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Vintage duels

Fencers from the world over battled at the Giza Pyramids, reports Inas Mazhar


Altogether, 128 fencers from 33 countries took part in the second edition of the three-day men’s individual and team World Cup in Cairo.

It was Great Britain’s Richard Kruse who took gold this weekend, winning the second annual Pharaoh’s Challenge, with a turnout of more than 150 top-level men’s foil fencers from around the world. The US men’s foil team also took gold, winning the team competition in a field of 16 countries.

The first annual Pharaoh’s Challenge was inaugurated last year. The spectacular event was held at one of the most iconic historic sites in Egypt, the Citadel. It was a remarkable event where competitors clashed their swords in such an old historic place, giving the atmosphere of fights in the old ages.

The success of the first annual event encouraged the International Fencing Federation (FIE) to agree on hosting the second edition also in Cairo. But this time, the opening ceremony and the individual competitions were held in a different venue: the Giza Pyramids. The preliminary competition would take place in the morning at the Cairo Stadium indoor complex with the finals being held at the Giza Pyramids venue in the evenings.

The top four winners

With a very strong finish in the men’s individual competition, Britain’s Kruse overcame Italy’s Alessio Foconi 15-5, to win the first men’s world cup of the 2017-2018 FIE senior competition season. Kruse defeated Hong Kong’s Ka Long Cheung 15-6 in the semi-final while Foconi beat Race Imboden of the US 15-11.

In the men’s foil team the US defeated Russia 45-26 to take the gold medal. The semi-final rounds had much closer scores with Russia beating France 44-43 and the US beating Italy 45-42. The bronze medal went to Italy which defeated France 45-41.

The top-eight overall individual rankings included Richard Kruse (GBR, gold), Alessio Foconi (ITA, silver), Ka Long Cheung (HKG, bronze), Race Imboden (US, bronze), Alexander Massialas (US), Giorgio Avola (ITA), Andrea Cassara (ITA) and Alexandre Sido (FRA).

Overall, the top eight team rankings were the US (gold), followed by Russia (silver), Italy (bronze), France, Ukraine, Japan, Germany and Korea.

Egyptians came out of the competition empty handed as the individual and team winners ironically made it to the podium, and Egyptians did not, in the land of the Pharaohs. Despite the participation of Egypt’s Olympic silver medalist Alaa Al-Sayed, the home team only managed the 10th slot of the team event after losing to Hong Kong 45-41.

Egypt had made an impressive start in the early stages of the competition beating Hungary and Denmark, before losing to Russia in the round of 16 to play Hong Kong for ninth and 10th place.

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