Yakimenko and Romania, what a day the first day!
by COL Legnano 2012 on 16/06/2012
What a great day for the starting of the Fencing European Championships of Legnano 2012: the differents locations of the event,PalaBorsani and the Castle, the atmosphere, the public, the great opening ceremony, the honour hosts and, also the warm temperatures.... Nothing left!
Let's starts from the beginning: the first day was for individual men's sabre and individual women's epee. Just at 7.30 the first athlets were on the stages of PalaBorsani for the training! A lot of great champions for 41 countries in the both weapons, 1 month and 12 days before the Olympic Games of London! The results of the Champs will be important for the World Ranking and also for the start of the competition in London, so the race here in Legnano is really, really fundamental!
Italy without Montano and Tarantino, gold and bronze in the World Championships of Catania, so maybe the favourite for the gold medal could be the German Limbach. After the preliminary rounds, all the main athlets were again on race. For Yakimenko, 28 year's old, from Russia, it was almost a triumphal march, from the very first match.
Italian team lost Pastore at the first round of direct elimination draw, at the hands of the Belgian Van Olsbeke. What a pity, also because the Belgian will stop himself quickly after. In the second round, important athlets were forced to abandon the competition, like the German Wagner, the Pole Koniusz, the Spanish Casares (by italian Samele), n.4 of the draw. The march of Yakimenko proceeds unstoppable, while Samele and the French Aphity, who will arrive until the final, bump off other great names like the Russian Kovalev and the Belarussian Priyemka; Murolo at the hands of Yagodka exits.
At the quarter of finals Buikevich does not live a chans to Samele (15-8), while Diego Occhiuzzi fights a long and pulled battle with the Ukrainian Yagodka, who at the end wins 15-14, with the last shot (seems common time) a lot contested. The referee see again it all at the replay, then assigns the winning point to the Ukrainian between the furious screams of Occhiuzzi, than calmed by the italian staff. Moral, no italian sabre in zone medals, but great race by the young guns Samele and Murolo.
Let'us live for a moment the men's sabre individual competition, before telling what went on at the castle, to see what happened with the women epee. German, Rumanians, Russians and also Italian fencers were among the favourites, with Rossella Fiamingo, Mara Navarria, Bianca Del Carretto and Nathalie Moellhausen. Above all with the first two, able authors of a great season in 2012, winning both their first contest in the world cup. As always happened in the epee competitions, there were a lot of surprises, as you can see for the final round at the castle: in semifinals arrived the n. 7, 13, 17 and 22 of the draw. But this is also the beauty of the epee!
Laura Flessel, the French lady of the epee, who also released a great interview to our web site, with her husband on the press tribune, was able to defeat 15-7 Mara Navarria, at the beginning of the direct elimination draw. But it was not the italian day, as Bianca Del Carretto wasn't able to defend her initial advantage with the olympic champion in charge, the German Heidemann (who won 6-5 at the additional minute) and Rossella Fiamingo, who was on fire in the last World Cup competitions, but here was defeated by the Russian Sivkova, after a great start (10-15). Italy says goodbye to the medals...
If that one was not the day of italian fencers, it was for sure the romanian one, as Simona Gherman and Anca Maroiu had a great competitions and flies up to the semifinals, while in the quarter of finals were defeated Laura Flesse and Heidemann (in the German derby with Sozanska).
And so here we are to the Castle of Legnano, for the most important part of the day, with the "Live" broadcasting from Italian network Sky TV (seven cameras, a great studio, four commentators and so on). Over 500 hundred people on the tribune of the Historical Visconteo Castle.
Men's sabre semifinals had the honor, at 6 P.M., to open the last part of the competition. And we saw again the great fencing of Russian Yakimenko and the Authority of Aphity, who went on till the finals. In the women epee semifinals, the roumanian Maroiu and Gherman were too strong for the German Sozanska and the Russian, maybe the surprise of the Day, Shutova, and went of a wonderful derby.
Before the finals, here's the Opening Ceremony, with the speach of Nicola Caletti, president of COL Legnano 2012, of Giorgio Scarso, president of Italian Fencing Federation, and for sure Frantishek Yanda, president of the fencing European Confederation.
Then, the last action! The sabre finals was great, with Yakimenko soon up, but a great come back from Aphity. It was also the... revenge of the last year, but once again the Russian
Yakimenko (Rus) b. Apithy (Fra) 15-12
Yakimenko (Rus) b. Buikevich (Blr) 15-9
Apithy (Fra) b. Yagodka (Ukr) 15-10
1. Yakimenko (Rus), 2. Apithy (Fra), 3. Buikevich (Blr), 3. Yagodka (Ukr), 5. Occhiuzzi (ITA), 6. Limbach (Ger), 7. Dolniceanu (Rou), 8. Samele (ITA).
INDIVIDUAL WOMEN EPEE
Gherman (Rou) b. Maroiu (Rou) 15-6
Gherman (Rou) b. Shutova (Rus) 15-13
Maroiu (Rou) b. Sozanska (Ger) 15-12
1. Gherman (Rou), 2. Maroiu (Rou), 3. Sozanska (Ger), 3. Shutova (Rus), 5. Heidemann (Ger), 6. Kolobova (Rus), 7. Flessel-Colovic (Fra), 8. Sivkova (Rus).