The Hungarian women’s fencing team won a gold medal at the World Fencing Championship in Cairo. The World Cup was held in this discipline for the first time in 1999, and the Hungarians just won their first victory.
The foursome of Battai Sugár, Renáta Katona, Liza Pusztai, and Luca Szűcs defeated the Uzbeks and then the Bulgarians on Friday, securing their place among the top eight.
From the quarter-finals onwards, the matches were held on Saturday, the last day of the World Cup. The Hungarians first beat the Italians, who they lost to at the European Championship in June, by two points, and then won decisively against the Spaniards. In the final, they faced the French, and they proved to be better 45-40 so that Pusztai had to score the victory twice.
In the opening round, she beat Caroline Querol 5-2, then Battai beat Sara Balzer 5-3, and Szűcs beat Sarah Noutcha 5-2 in the first round. The momentum didn’t break after that, Battai proved to be better than Queroli 5-3, but the first Hungarian defeat came in the fifth set: Pusztai lost 7-5 against Noutcha. She followed up against Balzer Szűcs, who increased the advantage by a smooth 5-1. The third round started at 30-18 and the momentum was not broken, Battai defeated Noutcha 5-1. The eighth ace, on the other hand, did not succeed at all, Szűcs lost to Queroli 12-5, but still, nine strokes remained from the advantage. Pusztai took the lead against Balzer at 40-31. At 44-38 the Hungarian swordsman’s action was deemed valid by the referee, and the celebration had already begun, except that the French asked for a video. And this was in their favor, so instead of 45-39, the score changed to 44-40. The next action, however, was already clear, and the spontaneous Hungarian celebration could follow. Pusztai lost the last match 9-5, but was determined in the decisive moments.
The Hungarian team fought better and better during the day, and perhaps even surprised itself with its victory.
“This day was a great experience, we are all in complete ecstasy, and we can’t even believe that we won, because we really fought against very strong opponents”
– said Battai Sugár from Debrecen.
“In the final, we met the strongest team in the field, but we were so focused that everyone only paid attention to their own ace, and they won. Or maybe not in the end, but then it didn’t matter, because the advantage had grown to such an extent. I’m very, very happy and very proud of everyone.”
– Liza Pusztai began her assessment: “We stood up completely unencumbered against the Italians, obviously we really wanted to win, but we thought they were the best.” “However, if we win, it’s a huge feat. We were all able to fight all day without a burden. Unburdened, joyful fighting was key.”
Head coach Gábor Gárdos admitted that he was somewhat surprised by this victory.
“To be honest, this was not part of our competition, especially after the individual, but when we beat the Italians today, I saw that a barrier was broken, and from there the little ones fought better and better. I’m very happy because I’ve been waiting for this feat for a long time, such a young team has just accomplished this and it’s fantastic. I just told them that we need to be brave, let’s believe that we can win against anyone. I’m very happy.”
The manager congratulated not only them but also the coaching team behind him, Etele Ravasz, Benjámin Bódy, and László Dávid. We did everything together, we discussed everything about when we would change, who we would change, and how we would stand up,” he added.
The women’s sword team won the third medal of the Hungarian delegation in Egypt. On Monday, Áron Szilágyi won the individual sword, and on Thursday, the sword team of András Szilágyi, András Szatmári, Csanád Gémesi, and Tamás Decsi came second.
among the 32:
Japan-United States 45-33
for 3rd place:
The final result: 1. Hungary (Sugár Battai, Renáta Katona, Liza Pusztai, Luca Szűcs), 2. France (Sara Balzer, Sarah Noutcha, Anne Poupinet, Caroline Queroli), 3. Japan (Emura Miszaki, Fukushima Sihomi, Kanae Kobajasi, Seri Ozaki)
29 teams started in women’s saber.
Photo: Hungarian Fencing Association