LONDON, 31 July – Epee is the least predictable of weapons and with no one in the men’s game able to win an Olympic or world title more than once in the past nine years, the battle for Olympic medals is wide open when competition begins Wednesday, 1 August at ExCeL.
Nikolai Novosjolov (EST), 2010 World Champion and current World #1 is a favorite to win. He can win Estonia’s first gold medal outside athletics in this century.
Last year’s world champion, Paolo Pizzo (ITA), had surgery on his hand in May. While usually a medal favorite, it remains to be seen how fit he is for these Games. With a win, Pizzo would win the 8th gold medal in Men’s Individual Epee for Italy.
2011 world silver medalist Bas Verwijlen (NED) also looks to be in medal contention.
Two Swiss epeeists have climbed the rankings this season. Fabian Kauter (SUI) is world No.2, although he has never won more than a bronze medal at the world or European championships, while Max Heinzer has won the bronze at the European champs the last two years. The last three Olympic champions have been world #2 or 3, which bodes well for Kauter.
Elmir Alimzhanov (KAZ) is the current world #4, but has no world championship medals to his name.
As the oldest competitor at 37, Geza Imre (HUN) also looks to go deep. He was European champion in 2008 and the world #2 last year.
Soren Thompson and Seth Kelsey look to take their team world championship and advance deep into the competition. The draw in the round of 32 has Kelsey (17th) fencing Li Guojie (CHN) and Thompson (11th) fencing Joerg Fiedler (GER).