Fencing World Cup, relations between Ukrainians with Russians and Belarusians. The mystery of the women's epee contest - Corriere.it

Fencing World Cup, relations between Ukrainians with Russians and Belarusians.  The mystery of the women's epee contest - Corriere.it

Of Flavio Vanetti

The Ukrainians skip the individual competitions featuring Russian and Belarusian athletes. Four of them were registered in the women's epee, but they did not appear on the platform

The Fencing World Championship in Milan started with the first of the three days dedicated to the preliminary rounds (epee fencers and sabers on the platform on Saturday 22, the opening day of the review at the Allianz MiCo: Italy had only Riccardo Nuccio and Federica Isola in the competition and both qualified by catching up with their teammates in the main draw), but it also faced the particular situation that regulates relations between Ukrainian and Russian and Belarusian athletes. Premise: not new, what we will tell was This has already happened at the recent individual European Championships in Plovdiv. However, the situation is this: even if the Russians (seven in all) participate in a neutral way in the World Cup (the acronym that distinguishes them AIN), the Ukrainians will skip the individual matches in which they and the Belarusians appear. Conversely, they will go to the platform where there are none and then for team competitions, since the International Federation, following the suggestions of the IOC, has not admitted Russia to collective tournaments. Then the events of the end of June were repeated in Bulgaria and then, on the occasion of the European Games, those of Krakow, where fencing moved to team trials and where Ukraine was represented.

Of the six individual tests (there are three weapons, foil, saber and epee, and you compete on both the male and female sides)
the Ukrainians will be featured only in the men's foil and men's sabre.
Absent, however, in the women's épée, in the men's épée, in the women's foil and in the women's saber (and on this front it should be noted that Olga Kharlan, girlfriend of our Gigi Samele, will not be able to compete for yet another medal in her great career). Moreover, in the female sword the Ukrainians were inscribed. They were: Dzhoan Feybi Bezhura, Inna Brovko, Vlada Kharkova and Darja Varfolomyeyeva. Their ranking required the elimination phase, but they didn't show up on the platform. It remains to be understood, since the position of their country and their Federation has been known for some time, why they were registered. Did they do it at a time when the Russians weren't there yet and then stepped aside? It will be a detail, curious, to be clarified.

However not the first time that fencing (borrowing what unfortunately happens in other sports) is faced with refusals and vetoes related to politics. Two boycotts made headlines at the 2011 World Cup in Catania. The Iranian florist Ghambari Hamad he found himself in the qualifiers against the Israeli Tomer Or and withdrew without shooting against any of the opponents. Even more sensational was the gesture of the Tunisian swordsman Sara Besbes (value fencer), in turn opposed to an athlete from Israel, Noam Mills. The Tunisian federation asked Besbes not to fight. To avoid disqualification, Sarra went up on the platform but remained stationary, taking the five hits that decreed the 5-0 defeat. The judges could not sanction her, but the Tunisian - who was not very convinced of complying with the imposition received - paid the price in the next phase: in the direct elimination of the playoff she faced a stronger athlete, the Chinese Li Na, lost and exited the race. The Tunisians also took it out on the Israelis at a youth world championship in 2016 in Bourges: one of their foil players refused to attack a colleague from the forbidden country, but immediately burst into tears. It certainly isn't always easy and obvious for an athlete to understand the reasons for politics. And the question is always the same: is it really right to mix the two aspects?

July 22, 2023 (change July 22, 2023 | 21:26)

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