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World Cup, Amsterdam – the seventh qualification competition for Tokyo 2020

The last World Cup of the year saw fencers gather in Amsterdam during the second week of November.

On day one the tone of the competition was set when the temperature inside the Sports Hall was perceived to be colder than that outside, which led to athletes having to warm up wearing their fencing kit AND their outdoors coat. Woolly hats and gloves were also de rigeur for fencers and spectators alike.

For the fencers it was business as usual. Piers and Mat (sabre) both did well in poules and getting a bye to the L32 where Mat lost to Schmidt and Piers beat Citerne 15-5. Piers went on to the L16 where he beat Karpov 15-7, L8 he beat Osvath 15-13, but lost to Tian 15-11 in the semi final to take the bronze medal.

Dimitri (Foil), also managed a bye after poules and in the L16 beat Onda 15-4, L8 he beat Khamatshin 15-10, semi-finals he beat Feng 15-10 and in the final he beat Hu 15-10 to take gold.

Gemma fenced really well in epee, winning four poule matches and in the L32 she beat Drozdz 15-12, L16 she beat Evdokimova on priority after a 10-10 draw in full time. In the L8 she lost to Breus 15-10, with a final position of 8th.

On day two the sports hall felt even colder, but we learned that the heating was not working. Ollie and Josh fenced foil and both did very well, L64 Josh beat Fernandez-Garrido 15-6, but then lost to Yusupov, Ollie getting a bye to the L32, where he beat Gueroult 15-6, but lost to Sim 15-8 in the L16, with a final position of 9th.

Dimitri (epee) was ranked 2 after poules. He had a bye to the L16 where he beat Mainville 15-8, L8 he beat Ali Amar 15-8, in the semi final he beat Peter 15-8 and in the final he beat Sasha Kuzyukov 15-5 to take his second gold medal.

Gemma (sabre) had a storming poule taking 5 wins and only 1 loss. L32 she beat Nakprasit 15-7, but lost in L16 to Breus 15-11. Her final position was 9th.

Day three Piers, Mat, Josh and Ollie (epee) had mixed days. After poules Piers (1) and Josh (33) were the only fencers to progress to the L32, where Josh lost to Yusupov 15-7. Piers beat Hebert 15-5, L16 he beat Betti 15-6, L8 he beat Tian 15-11, in the semi final he beat Sun 15-14 and in the final he beat Shaburov 15-9 to take the gold medal.

Day four was the team foil event. First match against Brazil saw GB win comfortably 45-8.

The second match against Poland ranked 3 was much harder. The lead changed hands several times with the win going to Poland 45-44.

The third match saw GB fence their old friends Ukraine, with Demchuk and Manko both missing. The match finished in favour of GB 45-22.

The final match was against France. France led in the early stages but GB piled on the pressure in the middle stages and won with room to spare 45-35.

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