Young guns: Padova World Cup recap, part 4: Ibragimov (RUS) v Yagodka (UKR)

So, we should probably talk about Kamil Ibragimov. The shining  star of new-gen Russian sabre, the 21 year old has been honed by legendary coach Christian Bauer into a model of perfection.  He’s pretty much the diametric opposite of the sort of sabre I’m usually into, but he’s pushed it so far it’s reached a kind of terrifying singlarity.

Something really, really bad is about to happen.
Something really, really bad is about to happen.

The kid is a stone-cold badass.

His game was out on full display in the final against Yagodka, who had just used a string of awkward but exquisitely timed counterattacks to utterly demolish a jittery Kim Junghwan in the semi.

Ibragimov’s trademark is not speed, not power, not cunning, but a slow, deliberate, calm which exudes menace, and in this match it was exactly what was required.

Ooooooooh.

Then as if holding a guy’s blade with contemptuous ease is not enough, he also appears to be capable of manipulating the very fabric of space time:

Just… it’s that easy, right?

Russia ibragimov
I’m sure he’s lovely and all, but I’m still kind of scared.

Full match is here, with somewhat more restrained than usual commentary from Andrew Fischl and the US men’s sabre team, who I suspect are just as scared as I am.

There’s a lot more where that came from, even just from the weekend. Stay tuned!