{mosimage}The qualifying events for team and individual slots for the 2004 Olympic Games have ended.  Yesterday (April 26th) marked the last day of qualifications for individuals through the zonal qualifying tournaments.  The following is a breakdown of all of the teams and individuals qualified for the Athens Games.

Teams Qualified for the Olympic Games

The following teams have qualified for the Games by being either the top-4 in the world rankings as of March 31st or by being the top team from their zone.  The zones are: Europe, Asia-Oceana, Africa, and the Americas.

For the 2004 Games all of the men’s events (epee, foil, sabre) and only one women’s event (epee) have team competitions.

Men’s Epee Team:

1. France2. Russia3. Germany4. Hungary
5. Ukraine6. China7. USA8. Egypt

Men’s Foil Team:

1. Germany2. Italy3. China4. Russia
5. France6. South Korea7. USA8. Egypt

Men’s Sabre Team:

1. Russia2. Hungary3. France4. Ukraine
5. Italy6. China7. USA8. Egypt

Women’s Epee Team:

1. Germany2. Hungary3. China4. Russia
5. France6. South Korea7. Canada8. South Africa

Individual Events

Qualification for the individual events is determined by if there is a team event for that weapon also.  In the case of events with a team competition, there are 36 entries for the individual tournament.  The first 24 are taken by the 3 members of each qualified team.  The remaining 12 were determined by zonal world ranking and by a final continental qualifying tournament in each Olympic zone.

In Men’s Epee, Men’s Foil, Men’s Sabre, and Women’s Epee, the first 24 are chosen by the national federations of the countries entered in the events.  The 7 Zonal individual slots have been awarded to the following fencers:

Men’s Epee Individual

Alfredo RotaITAEuropeFIE Rank
Christoph MarikAUTEuropeFIE Rank
Silvio FernandezVENAmericasFIE Rank
Andres Carrillo AyanaCUBAmericasFIE Rank
Sang-Yup LeeKORAsiaFIE Rank
Seamus RobinsonAUSAsiaFIE Rank
Aissam RamiMARAfricaFIE Rank
Alexandru NyisztorROMEuropeZonal
Marcel FischerSUIEuropeZonal
Sirioj RathpressertTHAAsiaZonal
Abderahmane DaidjALGAfricaZonal
Paris InostrozaCHIAmericasZonal


Men’s Foil Individual

Joao GomesPOREuropeFIE Rank
Cedric GohyBELEuropeFIE Rank
Yuki OtaJPNAsiaFIE Rank
Joshua McGuireCANAmericasFIE Rank
Frank BartolilloAUSAsiaFIE Rank
Edgar Chumacero HernandezMEXAmericasFIE Rank
Maher Ben AzizaTUNAfricaFIE Rank
Richard KruseGBREuropeZonal
Roland SchlosserAUTEuropeZonal
Kin Lao KowkHKGAsiaZonal
Sofiane El AziziALGAfricaZonal
Carlos RodriguezVENAmericasZonal


Men’s Sabre Individual

Mihai CovaliuROMEuropeFIE Rank
Fernando MedinaESPEuropeFIE Rank
Eun Seok OhKORAsiaFIE Rank

Wiradech Kothny

Michel BoulosCANAmericasFIE Rank
Candido Maya CamejoCUBAmericasFIE Rank
Mohamed RebaiTUNAfricaFIE Rank
Rafai SznajderPOLEuropeZonal
Dimitri LapkesBLREuropeZonal
Masahishi NagaraJPNAsiaZonal
Sorel-Arthur KembeCGOAfricaZonal
Renzo AgrestaBRAAmericasZonal


Women’s Epee Individual

Cristiana CascioliITAEuropeFIE Rank
Nadiya KazmirchukUKREuropeFIE Rank
Evelyn HallsAUSAsiaFIE Rank
Eimey Gomes ChivasCUBAmericasFIE Rank
Kamara JamesUSAAmericasFIE Rank
Megumi HaradaJPNAsiaFIE Rank
Zahra GamirALGAfricaFIE Rank
Sonja TolNEDEuropeZonal
Ana BranzaROMEuropeZonal
Jessica BeerNZLAsiaZonal
Hajer HayouniTUNAfricaZonal
Angela EspinozaCOLAmericasZonal


Events with only an individual tournament: Women’s Foil, Women’s Sabre

{mosimage}Qualification for Women’s Foil and Sabre is limited to 24 individuals.  The berths are broken out in the following way:

  • The first 8 go to the top 8 in the World Ranks as of March 31st
  • The next 8 are selected by FIE Rank by zones with 3 to European fencers, 2 to the Americas and Asia, and 1 to Africa
  • The final 8 are selected by zonal qualifying tournaments with 3 slots to Europe, 2 to Asia and the Americas and 1 to Africa.
  • For the Zonal tournaments, only countries that do not have a fencer qualified in the first 16 slots may send an athlete.

As of April 27th, all of the qualifying tournaments have been held.  Below are the athletes receiving invitations to Athens:

Women’s Foil

Valentina VezzaliITAEuropeWorld #1
Sylwia GruchalaPOLEuropeWorld #2
Giovanna TrilliniITAEuropeWorld #3
Roxana ScarlatROMEuropeWorld #4
Aida MohamedHUNEuropeWorld #5
Ekaterina YoucheveRUSEuropeWorld #6
Svetlana BoikoRUSEuropeWorld #7
Laura Carlescu BadeaROMEuropeWorld #8
Adeline WuillemeFRAEuropeFIE by Zone
Margherita GranbassiITAEuropeFIE by Zone
Gabriella VargaHUNEuropeFIE by Zone
Jie MengCHNAsiaFIE by Zone
Hyun Hee NamKORAsiaFIE by Zone
Erinn SmartUSAAmericasFIE by Zone
Wassila RedouaneALGAfricaFIE by Zone
Mariana GonzalezVENAmericasFIE by Zone
Vita SiltchenkoBLREuropeZonal Qual
Ayelet OhayonISREuropeZonal Qual
Simone BauerGEREuropeZonal Qual
Cheiko SugawaraJPNAsiaZonal Qual
Ying Man ChanHKGAsiaZonal Qual
Ines BoubakriALGAfricaZonal Qual
Alejandra CarboneARGAmericasZonal Qual
Maria DeCastro HerlotzBRAAmericasZonal Qual

Women’s Sabre

Sada JacobsonUSAAmericasWorld #1
Elena NetchaevaRUSEuropeWorld #2
Aleksandra SochaPOLEuropeWorld #3
Xue TanCHNEuropeWorld #4
Gioia MarzoccaITAEuropeWorld #5
Elena JemayevaAZEEuropeWorld #6
Anne-Lise TouyaFRAEuropeWorld #7
Cecile ArgiolasFRAEuropeWorld #8
Susanne KoenigGEREuropeFIE by Zone
Emily JacobsonUSAAmericasFIE by Zone
Dorina MihaiROMEuropeFIE by Zone
Leonore PerrusFRAEuropeFIE by Zone
Ying ZhangCHNAsiaFIE by Zone
Ana Faex MielinCUBAmericasFIE by Zone
Shin Mi LeeKORAsiaFIE by Zone
Jacqueline EsimajeNGRAfricaFIE by Zone
Orsolya NagyHUNEuropeZonal Qual
Louise Bond-WilliamsGBREuropeZonal Qual
Darya NedashkowskaUKREuropeZonal Qual
Madoka HisagaeJPNAsiaZonal Qual
Tsz Ki ChowHKGAsiaZonal Qual
Sondes SmandiTUNAfricaZonal Qual
Alejandra BenitezVENAmericasZonal Qual
Elora PattaroBRAAmericasZonal Qual

There you have it.  These are the athletes that are currently qualified for the Athens Olympic Games.


What’s Next?
Next, each NOC (National Olympic Committee) must respond to the FIE as to if they are accepting the Olympic bid and sending their teams/athletes for the Games.  The responses are due back from the NOCs at the end of May.

What happens if a NOC doesn’t send their team/athlete?
This depends on the athlete’s qualification path.  If a country in the top 4 doesn’t send their team, then the country ranked 5th has the option to go in their place.  If a country had their team qualified by zone, then the next country in that zone would get to go.  If all countries in the zone decline the invitation, then the team spot would go to the next highest ranked team based on the world rankings.

For individuals, if national federations do not meet the deadline of 31 May 2004 to confirm the participation of a qualified fencer, the FIE will re-allocate the places available as follows:

If a zone does not have a fencer ranked in the FIE Official Ranking, it is the highest-ranked fencer in the weapon discipline concerned, irrespective of the zone, who qualifies, provided that the country he/she belongs to does not already have 3 fencers qualified in that weapon discipline.

• If the fencer is qualified through the world rankings, the qualification will be re-allocated to the fencer ranked next

• If the fencer is qualified through the zone rankings, he/she will be replaced by the next ranked fencer in the same zone

• If the qualification was obtained through the zone qualification event, the qualification will be attributed to the fencer ranked next in the event.

The rules don’t specify what happens if no fencer from the zone can be found, but it follows that if no fencer will go from a zone, then the FIE would select the athlete next highest on the world ranking to participate.

I read before that Mariel Zagunis (USA) or Catalina Ghoerghitoaia (ROM) may get to go to the Olympics.  What’s going on with that?
Fencing.Net had reported this possibility when pulling together the analysis of the initial qualifications for Women’s Sabre.  Zagunis is 11th in the world and Ghoerghitoaia is 13th, so they have the quality of fencing to go.  It is unknown at this point if the African nations will send the fencers that have qualified for the zonal slots for Women’s Sabre. 

If no African nation sends a fencer, then the slot would open up for Zagunis and then Ghoerghitoaia.  As of today, none of the NOCs have responded to inquiries on if they plan to send their athletes.  The NOCs have until May 31st to accept the bid, and then the FIE reallocates the bids starting June 1st.

So, who is going to win in these events?
Good question.  Over the months leading up to the Games, there will be a few preview articles that will go over Fencing.Net’s picks.  The events are all single elimination, so one good upset could make all of the predictions moot.