Final World Cup of the Season Topped by Ukrainian Fencer
Kyiv, June 26, 2012. Three-time Senior World individual medalist, acting European Champion Olha Kharlan (Ukraine) won golden medal at the Korfanty Cup in Chicago, Ill., USA – the final world cup stage before the Olympics in London. In her final bout with the two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (USA) Kharlan managed to close out the bout, 15:13.
In the quarter-finals Olha Kharlan won over Italy’s Gioi Marzocca 15:8; in the semifinals Ukrainian fencer defeated another Italian – Irene Vecchi with an impressive count of 15:5.
The bout between the #1 and #3 fencers in the world, according to Boxscorenews.com, – Zagunis and Kharlan – was the most expected one of the Chicago 2012 Korfanty Cup. Kharlan was confident entering the bout after her convincing win over Irene Vecchi. That was the third meet Kharlan and Zagunis had this season.
Zagunis had an 8:7 lead at the break, however, in the second half Kharlan scored five straight touches to make the score 13:7. Zagunis scored three in a row but still lost to European Champion Kharlan 15:13. Closing the final World Cup of the season with gold, Kharlan will enter 2012 London Olympics as a top seed. Mariel Zaguniz finished the season with silver, while Chines Min Zhu and Italian Irene Vecchi shared bronze.
Other Ukrainian women sabre fencers competing at the championship took the following positions: #28 – Olha Zhovnir, #43 – Olena Khomrova, #52 – Halyna Pundyk.
Earlier, Olha Kharlan reclaimed her status as a European Champion winning gold at the European Championships (Legnano, Italy, June 15-20, 2012). Previously, Kharlan won European championships twice – in 2009 and 2011. In the woman’s sabre finals Kharlan managed to beat her opponent Vassiliki Vougiouka from Greece 15:14; Vassiliki took silver. Polish Aleksandra Socha won bronze. In March 2012 Kharlan claimed the golden medal in Women’s Saber at the 2012 Antalya World Cup, Turkey. In the semifinals Kharlan managed to beat Mariel Zagunis, who took the bronze.
The United States Fencing Association organized Men’s and Women’s Sabre individual and team events on June 22-24 at Navy Pier in Chicago. The Korfanty Cup 2012 was open to all athletes possessing a current FIE License, who were selected by their National Federation in accordance with the FIE rules for entries to A-grade events.