The start of the fencing event at the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games is only a few days away. 467 athletes from 37 countries will battle it out on the pistes between June 25th and June 30th in Tauron Arena in Kraków, the largest indoor arena in Poland which can accommodate up to 22,000 spectators. Split across three weapons, the event will feature three days of individual competition, followed by three days of team competition. The individual competition is not a European championship nor is it part of the Olympic qualification schedule, but the team competition has the status of a European championship as well as Olympic qualifier.
The first day of fencing, June 25th, is sure to offer excitement at the highest level. In the men’s sabre individual event, 52 fencers will battle it out to become the champion of the 2023 European Games. Among the world’s 15 highest ranked fencers, 10 are going to compete in Tauron Arena. The clear favourite is world no.1 Sandro BAZADZE (GEO) who has medaled in every competition this season, including a gold at the European championships and bronze at the world championships. Not far behind is legendary fencer Aron SZILAGYI (HUN), the three-time Olympic champion who currently is ranked no.2 in the world, as well as world no.3 Luigi SAMELE (ITA) who has also had a splendid season. Lastly, the dark horse of the competition could be home-fencer Krzysztof KACZKOWSKI (POL), who is ranked 26th in the world after winning a world cup competition in Warsaw earlier this year.
Alongside the men’s sabre event, the women’s foil event will take place on the first day of action, and it will feature 50 fencers from more than 15 countries. Some of the biggest stars, such as reigning world champion Ysaora THIBUS (FRA), the German duo of Leonie EBERT(GER) and Anne SAUER (GER), as well as the strong Italian team, will be missing from the individual competition. Still, the competition is poised to be of the highest quality, with the home nation boasting an impressive line-up. Julia WALCZYK-KLIMASZYK (POL) and Hanna LYCZBINSKA (POL) are both ranked in the top 35 of the world after strong performances throughout the year. Worth noting is also Erica CIPRESSA (ITA), daughter to legendary Italian coach Andrea CIPRESSA, and the youngster Alina POLOZIUK (UKR), who at the mere age of 21 is ranked 22nd in the world.
The women’s foil event is set to being 09:00 on Sunday the 25th, followed by the men’s sabre event at 13:00. The full schedule can be found at https://www.european-games.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/fencing.pdf. Moreover, the competition will be streamed through the following link: https://europeangames.tv.
European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023 is Europe’s biggest multidisciplinary sporting event in 2023. More than 7 thousands 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 celebretion of sports starts with opening ceremony in Krakow on 21st of June. The closing ceremony will take place on July 2nd.