Resistance is futile: Kovalev (RUS) v Gu (KOR)

The final at the world championships in Kazan this year was almost hilariously one-sided (and I largely say almost because I may have had money on the loser). Gu was close to exhaustion, and Kovalev was fencing as well as I’ve ever seen him fence. He had Gu on the run from the very start, and by the halfway point, at 8/0 down, it was clear that he had him totally outclassed.

Gu got a good pep talk from his coach in the 1-minute break, and started to fight back. Then Kovalev pulled this off:

Full match is available on our YouTube channel. It’s a massacre, but Kovalev’s tactical game is worth checking out.

Not so fast: Kovalev (RUS) v Szilagyi (HUN)

The final bout of the team match between Russia and Hungary was crazy exciting. Aron Szilagyi, reigning Olympic champion, ridiculous prodigy and generally exciting fencer to watch, with a hell of a chase ahead of him. His opponent: the newly crowned World Champion, who had been fencing with almost unbelievable brilliance the day before in the individual event. Much tension! Maybe a little bit too much.

As always, gratuitous slow mo:

Oooooooh ouch.

In case you missed it yesterday, here’s the full match:

I will hunt you down: Yakimenko (RUS) v Szilagyi (HUN)

This has got to be one of the most merciless compound marching attacks I’ve seen. It comes from the tense the bronze medal match between Russia and Hungary at the 2014 World Championships. Szilagyi is throwing out all kinds of heroic defensive measures, but Yakimenko is as cold as ice.

Again, big comp finals have all the  slow-mo. Featuring Aron Szilagyi looking very unhappy:

The full team bronze medal match between Russia and Hungary is available here:

There’s some fabulous stuff, particularly in the last bout between Kovalev and Szilagyi, which promises to be a rich source of future posts.

o_o : Won (KOR) v Wagner (GER)

Continuing with the Won Wooyoung theme, here is a brilliant stop cut from his bout against Wagner during the men’s sabre team finals at the 2014 World Championships.  It’s nice enough at full speed…

…but the replay. I could watch this all day. No words. Too beautiful.

Full match is available on our YouTube channel. The Germans play a superbly calculated defensive game which successfully shuts down the the attacking style of Gu and Kim, leaving enough of a lead that Won Wooyoung, for all his flashiness, can’t quite bring back.

Hostile takeover: Montano (ITA) v Gu (KOR)

Friday fencing flamewar time! It’s Montano v Gu in the round of 32 at the 2014 Budapest Grand Prix. It’s a fascinating battle of age and guile versus youth and athleticism, and Montano has his young opponent pretty thoroughly outfoxed. There’s three or four brutally difficult referee calls in the match of which, I think, this one takes the cake:

The  full match is here:

Full power: Won (KOR) v Occhiuzzi (ITA)

Won and Occhiuzzi, in the round of 64. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot for Occhiuzzi, as it turns out, but his misfortune means the rest of us get to watch stuff like this hit. The Korean coach’s reaction sums it up perfectly.

Full match is available thanks to CyrusOfChaos:

The whole thing is good, but the last point is utterly hilarious. As always, Andrew Fischl’s deadpan commentary adds a whole extra layer of awesome.

Flash: Tokunan (JPN) v Yakimenko (RUS)

Back to cool bladework today: here’s Kenta Tokunan pulling some sweet moves in the team match against Russia at the 2014 World Championships in Kazan, during which he scored an absurd number of points with this sort of thing.

2014-10-15 Tokunan v Yakimenko parry Flash WhichDescriptiveCod

The whole match is here, and is worth a watch:

I’ll be very interested to see how the Japanese team continues to develop under the direction of Lee Wookjae, who coached the Korean team up to their London Olympic gold. It’d be great to see the development of a new Asian sabre power.