During last weekend, Krzysztof Kaczkowski won the 66th edition of the oldest fencing tournament in the World Cup calendar, sensationally defeating the current ranking leader and European champion, Georgian Sandro Bazadze, in the final.
The 25-year-old Kaczkowski, last year’s Polish champion, was ranked 74th in the world ranking before the tournament, and his best performance was 23rd place at the 2022 European Championships.
Since 1997, no Pole has managed to win the “Wolodyjowski’s Sabre.” The athlete of Zagłębie KS from Sosnowiec surprised everyone with his exceptional skills during Friday’s preliminaries, and then by beating the most successful fencers on the way to the top.
On Saturday, in the main tournament, he defeated six rivals, and the victory over Chinese Yinghui Yan 15:11 brought him to the the “eight”.
In each of the fights we followed at the Warsaw Olympic Centre, the Pole was focused, confident and effective. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Iranian Farzad Baher Arasbaran 15:12. In the semifinals, after an even fight, Kaczanowski scored a one-point victory over Italian Michele Gallo, only to charm everyone a moment later with a surprising achievement – a final victory against FIE ranking leader Sandro Bazadze from Georgia 15:13! In the end, the order on the podium was: Krzysztof Kaczkowski, Sandro Bazadze and Michele Gallo with Luigi Samele.
The winner of the tournament announces that his success is only a foretaste of the upcoming thrill. “I won the “Wlodek”, I got the Sabre, and it’s amazing! But this is just a warm-up, because at the end of June the European Games starts, and I’d like to invite everyone to the event – what a feast it will be! Of course, I also encourage you to take part in volunteering, you will be very needed there! See you in Krakow,” Kaczanowski added.
The fencing competition during the summer sporting celebration will begin on June 26 and will last 6 days. 460 of Europe’s top athletes will compete in 12 events, and their skills can be admired in Krakow’s Tauron Arena. The best fencers will not only win medals, but also points for the world ranking, based on which Olympic nominations will be announced on March 31, 2024.