Men's Foil Team makes history, wins bronze at Asian Zone Championships
21 June 2018
FENCING: The Australian Men's Foil Team won a bronze medal at the Asian Zone Championships yesterday, the first time an Australian team has reached the podium at this level.
Sholto Douglas, Ned Fitzgerald, Chris Nagle and Lucas Webber executed a superb team offence to defeat Kuwait 45/34 in the round of 16 and Singapore 45/33 in the quarter finals.
Their semi-final match against top-ranked Korea held some dramatic moments, including a 15-5 bout by Chris Nagle in the mid-section. Korea managed to maintain its lead however, claiming a 45/36 victory.
With a bronze medal secured, Australia fenced Japan to determine third place for international ranking purposes, going down 31/45 to finish in fourth place overall. Korea won gold over Hong Kong in the final match 45/39.
Australian national foil coach Antonio Signorello says the Australian bronze is a significant milestone.
"The guys' performance is meaningful considering four of the Asian teams are technically in the top eight in the world and that we are the only amateur team among a field of professionals," he says.
Australian Fencing Federation President Evelyn Halls is equally impressed, saying the team has "great potential".
"Just as important as their bronze medal is how they acquitted themselves in their semi-final against the Koreans, who are ranked fifth in the world," she said.
"This historic result is a consequence of the sustained effort the men's foilists have put in over a number of years and particularly during the last 12 months," Ms Halls said, pointing to the progress achieved with a relatively modest financial investment.
"In particular, the increased exposure to international competition, which is critical to improved rankings, would not have been possible without the assistance of the Australian Olympic Committee," Ms Halls said.