Germany wins a strong Men’s Foil team event and the US solidifies their Olympic berth.  The last European slot is up for grabs with 3 tournaments left to go.

Germany defeated Italy 45-44 to win the CIP Men’s Foil Team event.  China defeated France 45-41 to take 3rd place and maintain top 4 status in the world points list.

Final Placement for the CIP Men’s Foil team event: 

 Rg   Nom   Nation   Club 
 1   ALLEMAGNE   GER    
 2   ITALIE   ITA    
 3   CHINE   CHN    
 4   FRANCE   FRA    
 5   CORÉE DU SUD   KOR    
 6   ESPAGNE   ESP    
 7   RUSSIE   RUS    
 8   BELGIQUE   BEL    
 9   ETATS UNIS   USA    
 10   PORTUGAL   POR    
 11   POLOGNE   POL    
 12   HOLLANDE   NED    
 13   AUTRICHE   AUT    
 14   JAPON   JPN    
 15   HONGRIE   HUN    
 16   EGYPTE   EGY    
 17   DANEMARK   DEN    
 18   GRÈCE   GRE

FIE Ranks before the CIP:
Rank Pts Name Nationality Season
1 356  ITALY  ITA 2003/2004
2 300  CHINA  CHN 2003/2004
3 256  GERMANY  GER 2003/2004
4 244  FRANCE  FRA 2003/2004
5 190  POLAND  POL 2003/2004
6 184  BELGIUM  BEL 2003/2004
7 183  SPAIN  ESP 2003/2004
8 170  USA  USA 2003/2004
9 164  RUSSIA  RUS 2003/2004
10 127  EGYPT  EGY 2003/2004
11 120  Portugal  POR 2003/2004
12 110  KOREA  KOR 2003/2004
13 107  JAPAN  JPN 2003/2004
14 107  AUSTRIA  AUT 2003/2004
15 101  GREAT BRITAIN  GBR 2003/2004

Who’s in, who’s out?

The top 4 teams make it to the Games.  Those are currently:

All 4 of those teams finished in the top 4, so while the points will differ, these 4 stay in the top 4 for automatic qualification.

By zones:
Americas: The US is well ahead of Canada, and earning points with a 9th place finish helps the US.  While not as good as last year’s 4th place finish, 9th gets the US to an Olympic berth but doesn’t do much for positioning.

Africa: Egypt is the only one really competing here.  Egypt gets this slot.

Asia: By being in the top 4, China opens it up to another Asian country to go to Athens.  Japan currently has the lead here, but Korea and Hong Kong placed higher at the 2003 World Championships.  The Shanghai tournament will tell us a lot about who captures this slot.

Europe: This is the dog fight.  Spain, Russia, and Belgium placed 6th, 7th, and 8th at this event and they are separated by less than 30 points.  Russia, Belgium, and Poland are separated by less than 10 points.  Russia and Belgium will have some strong results drop off their points list in March while Spain and Poland get to drop some sub-par results.  This makes the fight for the last European slot a 4 way race that depends on a strong result in Spain in February.

There are 3 Men’s Foil World Cups left.  La Coruna in Feb, Shanghai and Le Caire in March.  Depending on who peaks in March, the European standings could change enough to shake it up.

As it stands today:

Africa: Egypt
America: USA
Asia: Korea
Europe: Belgium

Last out: Poland (by 3 points), Japan (by 15 points)

(Edit: Russia was originally reported as having this slot, but since only 2 European tournaments can be used, they miss out on 25 points and drop to 7th in the overall rankings.  Russia now trails Poland by 17 points and Belgium by 20 points for the European slot.)