USA’s Race Imboden could only claim silver at the Men’s World Cup foil fencing event in Tokyo at the weekend, defeated by new world number one Richard Kruse of Great Britain, the first British fencer to achieve the ranking. USA was also a valiant second to the dominant Italians in the team event.
Nearly 200 international fencers spent last weekend competing at Tokyo’s Minato Sports Center for the Prince Takamado Trophy in Men’s Foil World Cup, with Great Britain’s Richard Kruse taking gold. The win took him to the top of the men’s world rankings, the first time a British fencer has achieved the feat. After being stripped of his UK Sport funding after narrowly missing a bronze medal in Rio, Kruse’s win is vindication of his renewed focus toward Tokyo 2020.
“I am immensely proud to have climbed to the top of the world rankings – but Olympic qualification is more important.
“It was extremely disappointing to lose my UK Sport funding when I was ranked number three in the world, to say the least, but I’m pleased that those that have always believed in me have helped me fill the financial void.
“I’m fully committed to achieving qualification for Tokyo 2020 and everything that I’m doing right now is focused on that,” said the four-time European individual medallist.
Beating Italy’s reigning Olympic champion Daniele Garozzo in the semi-final, 15-10, Kruse then accounted for world number three Imboden, 15-9, in the decider. Imboden had earlier beaten reigning world champion Alessio Foconi, 15-6 in their semi, confirming the Italian’s slip in the rankings to number two.
In the team’s event, the USA team featuring Imboden, Meinhardt, Massialas and Chamley-Watson continued its run of podium finishes, taking second step to the Italians by only two points, 45-43. Italy had earlier beaten Russia in their semi-final, 45-29, and USA had overcome Korea 45-32. Korea then defeated Russia 45-29 in the bronze medal playoff.
Men’s Individual Results:
1. Richard Kruse (GBR, gold)
2. Race Imboden (USA, silver)
3. Alessio Foconi (ITA, bronze)
3. Daniele Garozzo (ITA, bronze)
5. Jun Heo (KOR)
6. Peter Joppich (GER)
7. Timur Arslanov (RUS)
8. Miles Chamley-Watson (USA)
Men’s Team Results:
1. Italy (gold)
2. USA (silver)
3. Korea (bronze)