Renowned Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan has won a silver medal at the first stage of the Fencing Grand Prix in the 2023/24 season in Orléans, France.
Source: Suspilne Sport
Details: The Ukrainian national sabre fencing team entered 12 athletes in the competition. Six Ukrainians each competed in the men's and women's Grand Prix tournaments.
In the men's tournament, two Ukrainians, Yuriy Tsap and Oleksii Statsenko, made it to the main draw. However, both of them ended their performances after the first round robin matches and did not make it to the Round of the Last 32.
In contrast, in the women's tournament, Olha Kharlan and Alina Komashchuk made it to the final round and competed in the round of 16. Komaschuk lost her first match to Bulgarian Renata Katona, while Kharlan continued her performances and competed for the main medal of the Grand Prix.
Kharlan started in the main draw, defeating former European Games team vice-champion Rebecca Gargano (15:13) and Hungary's Emese Domonkos (15:8).
Kharlan scored her biggest victory at the start of the final round over Italian Chiara Mormile (15:7). Later, she made her way into the top four fencers, defeating Korean Jeon Ha-Young (15:13).
In the semi-finals, Kharlan had to compete with the titled French fencer Cécilia Berder, Tokyo Olympic vice-champion and 2023 European Games team champion. Kharlan won with a four-point difference and gained her 11th victory in head-to-head confrontations with Berder (the Frenchwoman has three).
Another Frenchwoman, the Tokyo Olympic individual bronze medal winner, Manon Apithy-Brunet, managed to stop Kharlan in the final. The Ukrainian was leading the hostess at 11:10, but missed four consecutive hits and eventually lost 12:15.
Kharlan won a silver medal at the Grand Prix for the first time in 13 years. This is the Ukrainian's third silver medal at the series level and the 28th of all kinds in her career.