Fencing: Final European Quotas Decided as Zonal Qualifier Comes to a Conclusion

The final day of the European Zonal Qualifiers saw the final European fencing quotas decided. Only unqualified nations were allowed to compete where the winner of each event was given a quota to compete at the games. Each event consisted of a pool round where athletes were then seeded into a single elimination bracket. The European Zonal Qualifiers was held in Madrid, Spain from April 24th to April 25th 2021.

The men’s individual epee saw the top seed athlete, Poland’s Radoslaw Zawrotniak lose in the semi-finals to the Czech Republic’s Jakub Jurka. On the other side of the bracket, Sweden’s Jonathan Svensson, the 11th seed pulled off a series of upsets to reach the finals. Sadly, he wouldn’t be able to complete the underdog story as Jurka would go on to defeat him 15-8.

All four of the top seeded athletes reached the semi-finals in the women’s individual foil. The semi-finals saw Spain’s Mario Marino defeat top seed Nicole Pustilnik of Israel 15-12 while on the other side, it was Poland’s Martyna Jelinska whom won 15-10 against Sweden’s Ester Schreiber. The final and Olympic quota went to time and was won by Jelinska 12-9.

The successful underdog story happened in the women’s individual sabre where after a poor pool round, Azerbaijan’s Anna Bashta found herself seeded tenth and the lowest seeded person to advance to the single elimination bracket. She would work her way to the final, including defeating Poland’s Sylwia Matuszak 15-11 in the semi-finals to face off against Germany’s Anna Limbach. Limbach’s semi-final opponent was Bulgaria’s Yoana Ilieva which she won 15-10. Bashta would win the final and Olympic quota via a score of 15-13.

This was the final opportunity for European nations to qualify in fencing. The remaining fencing quotas are set to be decided at their respective zonal qualifiers.

Qualified Nations

Men’s Individual Epee
* Czech Republic

Women’s Individual Foil
* Poland

Women’s Individual Sabre
* Azerbaijan

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