2 days, 2 golds – Michal SIESS (POL) secured Poland’s second gold of the fencing event after winning the men’s foil class in a crowded Tauron Arena.
The world no. 54 had a near-perfect record in the pool, recording only one loss, which gave him the 13th seed in the direct elimination. SIESS had a stunning performance in the direct elimination, beating Jan KREJCIK (CZE) 15-13, Ivan KOMSIC (CRO) 15-5, Tobias REICHETZER (AUT) 15-10, and Stef DE GREEF (BEL) to reach the semifinal. SIESS, cheered on by a large delegation of Polish fans, convincingly defeated Stef VAN CAMPENHOUT (BEL) 15-7 to reach the final.
His finals opponent Jonas WINTERBERG-POULSEN (DEN), former Youth Olympic medalist, completed the pools with a clean sheet, earning him the 2nd seed entering the eliminations. After a BYE in the round of 64, WINTERBERG-POULSEN defeated Borna SPOLJAR (CRO) 15-8 in the round of 32. In the round of 16 he faced Gergo SZEMES (HUN), silver medalist at the U23 European championships, in a close battle. After initially trailing, the Dane managed to turn the match around and advance after winning 15-13. To reach the final, he proceeded to defeat Andrii POGBRENIAK (UKR) 15-12 and Laurenz RIEGER (GER) 15-11.
The two fencers, who both gained strength from the loud crowd, were clearly prepared for the final bout. WINTERBERG-POULSEN took an initial lead, but SIESS would not give up so easy on home court, and reversed it. From there he took it all the way, securing the gold, Poland’s second, after winning 15-13. In the post-final interview, SIESS said ”I am super tired, but also super happy. To fence in front of the Polish crowd is an incredible feeling!” When asked about his plans for celebrations of the gold, the champion replied ”We don’t have much time to celebrate because the team even is coming upand now the most important thing is to stay in good shape for the team competition”.
European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023 is Europe’s biggest multidisciplinary sporting event in 2023. More than 7 thousand athletes are competing in 26 sports and 29 disciplines for 253 gold medals. More than that, European Games 2023 are part of the qualification process for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 in 19 sports. This great celebration of sports starts with opening ceremony in Krakow on 21st of June. The closing ceremony will take place on July 2nd.