Ukraine stopped one step away from the "bronze" at the Fencing Championship in women's team saber

Olga Kharlan
Olga Kharlan
© Photo: AP Photos
Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Published: July 30 2023 at 03:56 pm

Ukrainian women lost both key matches, but showed the best result of the tournament.

The women's saber fencing team of Ukraine finished their performances at the World Championship, which is being held in Milan, Italy. Ukrainian women stopped one step away from a medal, taking fourth place.

Team competition in saber fencing closes the program of the 2023 World Championship for the national team of Ukraine. In all other types of weapons, the Ukrainians did not reach the semifinals: the best result at the tournament was the quarterfinals in women's epee.

In the team saber fencing tournament, the women's national team of Ukraine performed in the composition of Alina Komaschuk, Yulia Bakastova, Olena Kravatskaya, as well as Olga Harlan. The leaders of the Ukrainian national team, in particular, granted permission to perform in the women's team tournament, suspending the period of disqualification she received for refusing to shake hands with neutral Russian Anna Smirnova.

How did the Ukrainian national team reach the semifinals at the World Fencing Championship?

  • The women's saber team started their World Championship on Saturday, July 29, having overcome two rounds. First, the Ukrainian women defeated Uzbekistan - 45:27, and then - the fourth-seeded Italy (45:33), reaching the quarterfinals.
  • In the quarterfinals, the Ukrainian women met against the USA team. And they won a strong-willed victory: first they won back from the score of 11:20, then they lost the "+5" advantage (from 35:30 to 39:40). In the end, the result was determined by Olga Harlan's "championship" shot - 45:44.
  • Ukraine had to fight for the finals against France, the vice-champions of the world and the 2020 Olympics. In case of victory, the Ukrainian women had the opportunity for the first time in seven years to get to the finals of the World Championship or the Olympics in the women's team saber.
  • In the semifinals, Ukraine lost to France 32:45. And she could only fight for the "bronze" in a match against the Republic of Korea, which lost to the current champions Hungary in the other semi-final.
  • However, Ukraine was defeated in the "bronze" final as well. The Ukrainian female fencers lost with the same score as in the semi-finals - 32:45, and took the final fourth place in the tournament.

What does Ukraine's result at the 2023 Fencing World Championships mean?

  • The performance of saber fencers was the best among all teams at the World Fencing Championship.
  • At the same time, Ukrainian women continued their medalless streak at the World Fencing Championships in women's team saber. It has been going on since 2017, although before that, in the period from 2008 to 2016, Ukrainian women won medals every year at the level of the World Championships and the Olympics.
  • Ukraine ends the World Fencing Championship without medals: neither in the individual nor in the team tournament was a single award won. The last time this happened was in 2002.

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