Fencing, Sword World Cup: Italy fourth in Bern, France wins the team competition

The first team trial for the Italian men’s sword in the 2022-2023 World Cup ends with a fourth place. In Bern the trio formed by Andrea Santarelli, Gabriele Cimini and Davide Di Veroli (plus the reserve Valerio Cuomo) ends one step away from the podium, behind the winner France, South Korea and Hungary.

The path of the Azzurri, seeded number 2 on the scoreboard, starts from the round of 32 and from the clash against the Singapore team. After a rather balanced start with the assaults equalized by Davide Di Veroli and Gabriele Cimini respectively with Jian Ting Sito and Simon Renjee Lee, Andrea Santarelli thinks to make the difference, taking three shots ahead of Tim Zhe Guang Shee. It is still Santarelli who creates an important furrow in the score, winning his second attack 8-4 and catalyzing the 45-34 success of the Azzurri.

In the round of 16, Italy finds Colombia of a John Edison Rodriguez in great shape and who starts immediately with a 6-1 over Gabriele Cimini. The blue comeback is slow but inexorable and passes through the sword of Davide Di Veroli, exceptional in the fifth assault, won 11-5 over Juan Andres Castillo. The overtaking is operated by Santarelli in the penultimate assaultwith a 9-5 on Hernando Rodguez who leads Italy in the score up to the final 44-38.

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Everything much simpler instead in the quarter-finals against a still excellent Switzerland. The Azzurri win seven of the nine attacks, including the one closed by Cimini 9-3 on Max Heinzer who definitively breaks the race. An excellent Di Veroli then sets the final score at 45-29, setting the table for the semifinal against a South Korea, who only survived the last assault against Japan.

The start of the semifinal is very balanced, neither team manages to take a significant advantage over the other. The Asians lead in the score but without ever stretching and therefore we arrive at the last assault on 27-30 for Korea. In the last act Di Veroli, however, gives in with a crash, losing the direct clash with Kweon Youngjun for 9-15, signing the final 36-45 that forces the Azzurri to the final for third place.

The other semifinal rewards France who manages to overtake Hungary 45-44. The blue challenge to the Magyars is equally tense and balanced: the first attacks see very few hits scored, until Santarelli fails to win the fourth clash by 8-5 bringing the Azzurri forward. The Hungarians make up for it so much that they are tied for the last assault. In the decisive moment it is Di Veroli again to give up, losing the challenge with Gergely Siklosi by 3-5, condemning Italy to fourth place.

In the final South Korea tries, but the resistance of the Asians lasts until the fifth assault when Yannick Borel takes his team ahead by winning the match with Ma Segeon 6-2. The transalpines therefore have the advantage of four hits and therefore it is enough to draw the last three bouts to win 45-41 and take the first seal in this World Cup.

Photo: Bizzi / Federscherma

Fencing, Sword World Cup: Italy fourth in Bern, France wins the team competition