Mild trolling: Kim (KOR) v Szilagyi (HUN)

Kim v Szilagyi: If that billing doesn’t get your attention, you’re not doing sabre fandom right. The last match of the Moscow quarterfinals was the kind of lineup that forces foolish Australians like myself to stay up to 4am to watch the live stream.

Szilagyi had apparently recovered his equilibrium after his epic thrashing by Kim in New York and controlled this one pretty nicely, with a lot of elegant compound attacks. But regular readers should be aware that nice pretty Hungarian sabre is not really the sort of thing I watch for fun, so, because it’s my birthday, we’re instead going to see Junghwan Kim doing crazy things:

I get that the point of that maneuver is to draw counterattack, but in this case what it drew was more stunned incredulity. Hey, whatever works.

On an unrelated note, this is still my favourite parry:

After that, though, the ref decided he really didn’t like Kim’s attacks, and things went rapidly downhill for Team Korea. Then came the 8 point break, and with it, one of the greatest moments in sabre coaching I’ve ever seen:

Did… Did he just go up to Junghwan Kim in the 1-minute break at a Grand Prix quarterfinal, and pat him on the head like a puppy? Is this going to help? Or is it like the kiss of death in the mafia?

Shockingly enough, it didn’t help, as you can see in the full match below. Nice pretty Hungarian fencing etc etc.

Probably lucky it turned out like it did, or I would have been up until 5:30am for the final.