The Egyptian men’s junior epee team won the gold medal at the 2022 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships.
The nine-day event took place at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, in the UAE, where 42 men’s and 33 women’s teams competed in 18 events.
In the junior epee men’s team, Egypt won the gold medal with a 45-40 score against the US. In the semi-final round, the US beat Switzerland, 43-37, while Egypt defeated France 45-35. The bronze medal went to France which defeated Switzerland 45-39.
“It was amazing to win,” Egypt’s Mohamed Al-Sayed told the official website of the International Fencing Federation (FIE). “We’ve never won this [event] before, we had a great season, and it’s an incredible feeling. The last match was difficult, but we stayed strong and took the win and now we’re the world champions.”
En route to the final, the Egyptians made an impressive debut as they beat Germany 45-35 in the round of 32, followed by a 45-25 victory over Britain before beating Kazakhstan 45-39 in the quarter-finals and France in the semi-finals, which guaranteed the Pharaohs a position on the podium and a precious medal.
The final rankings of the junior epee men’s team included Egypt (gold), USA (silver), France (bronze), Switzerland, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Kazakhstan.
The Egyptian men’s junior team also took the bronze medal. Mohamed Yassine claimed the silver medal in the individual junior epee. In the final men’s epee, Hungary’s Zsombor Keszthelyi beat Yassine, winning the gold 14-12. In the semi-final round, Yassine won against Great Britain’s James Jeal, 15-12, while Keszthelyi defeated France’s Lino Heurlin Vazquez, 15-13. Accordingly, the final rankings for the junior men’s epee included Zsombor Keszthelyi (HUN, gold), Mohamed Yasseen (EGY, silver), James Jeal (GBR, bronze) and Lino Heurlin Vazquez (FRA, bronze).
The Egyptian team of Mohamed Al-Sayed, Yassine, Mahmoud Al-Sayed and Mohamed Gaber lead the world rankings with 336 points, ahead of the Swiss team with 324 points and the US with 240 points.
Egypt’s Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi congratulated the fencing federation and the players for their “outstanding performances and remarkable results”. He congratulated the federation’s officials for their effort in elevating Egyptian fencing to the world’s top rankings.
Head of the Egyptian Fencing Federation Abdel-Moneim Al-Husseini said he was proud of his players’ performance and achievements, adding that they are now looking for an Olympic medal in Paris 2024.
“It was a tough competition, but our players were up to it and challenged their opponents and snatched the victory, carving their names in the world fencing hall of fame, especially as they have won the gold medal for the second year in a row,” Al-Husseini said.
“Our goal is adding another Olympic medal in Paris 2024, to add to our only Olympic medal in the sport, the silver medal which was won by Alaa Abu Al-Kassem in London 2012. We have been planning since then for another medal and if we remain at the peak of the sport, then we might reach our Olympic goal,” Al-Husseini said.
A closing ceremony was led by FIE interim President Emmanuel Katsiadakis. In his closing speech, he heralded the success of the event, thanked the organisers, participants and supporters, and stated that the event had the largest turnout in its history, with 1,644 fencers from 103 countries.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 14 April, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.