Two fencing gold medal matches, two gold medals. France’s colours flew in full force on Sunday at the Kim Dae-jeung Convention Centre, where Yannick Borell and Jeromine Mpah NJanga clinched victories in the men’s epee individual and women’s foil individual events.
Such is the intrigue of fencing, trying to understand the specifics of scoring and watching competitors dodge and attack, that it may just be one of the most exciting to watch at this Summer Universiade. The wins capped off a marvellous hard-fought fencing campaign from France; NJanga faced tough opposition in the semi-final and final, winning by three points and two points respectively.
Of the gold medal win, NJanga says this is not an achievement of a goal, rather an important victory after a slow start.
“I passed a step, but it was very good to win this gold medal. I have to work, work, work, it’s a high level. It is special because everybody is aggressive and really wants this medal. I want to be better than the other competition, and it is important to say I have to be better than the rest of the season.”
Borell has had a much better season and is striving to reach the Rio Olympics in 2016. He also says the medals are a justification of a long season.
“France has had a really good season, I think about the World Cup, where I was first and second. This medal is good for me, because that confirmed I have access to the final, and also good preparation for next season to try and go to Rio.”
There is no doubt that Borell, NJanga and silver medallist Virgile Marchal will be celebrating with their country when they arrive home. NJanga says she is excited to share the moment with family and friends. Marchal also had the support of a vocal French contingent in the stands in his match with Borell, showcasing the meaning of Universiade spirit.
Davis Harrigan (AUS), FISU Young Reporter