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Ukraine Women’s Sabre Fencing Team Led by Olga Kharlan Become European Vice-Champions

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Photo: Ukraine Women’s Sabre Fencing Team Led by Olga Kharlan Become European Vice-Champions. Source: nffu-org-ua
Photo: Ukraine Women’s Sabre Fencing Team Led by Olga Kharlan Become European Vice-Champions. Source: nffu-org-ua

The Ukrainian sabre team of Olga Kharlan, Alina Komashchuk, Olena Kravatska and Yulia Bakastova won the vice-championship at the last competition before the 2024 Olympic Games. The fifth day of competition at the European Championships in Basel, Switzerland, brought the second award to the Ukrainian national team. This is the 14th team medal for the Ukrainian women's sabre team in the history of European championships, the Ukrainian Fencing Federation reported.

In a difficult semi-final match, the Ukrainian sabre fencers defeated the world champions in the team championship of the last two years, the representatives of Hungary. This was despite the fact that the first five bouts were won by the Hungarian team and the Ukrainian team was losing (18:25). 

And then Olga Kharlan made an impressive comeback, winning her duel with Anna Marton 12:2 and turning "-7" into "+3", and then, going into the final fight with a minimum lag (39:40), she won 45:41.

In the final, the Ukrainians crossed arms with the world number one France, which did not enter this competition, deciding to save one of its leaders, Sarah Balzer, before the Olympics. From the very beginning, the French women seized the initiative, but the Ukrainian sabre fencers did not let them go by more than three strokes, repeatedly levelling the score during the first half of the match.

The sixth fight was the turning point, when Alina Komashchuk won 8:3 over Sara Nutcha, bringing the score from 22:25 to 30:28. Her efforts were supported by Olena Kravatska, who defeated Cecilia Berder 5:3 (35:31). 

Manon Apiti-Brune, the bronze medallist of the Tokyo Olympics, pulled her team within one stroke before the last fight (40:39). And then the aforementioned Nootcha threw all her strength into revenging her previous failure and managed to do so. The fate of the match was determined by one strike, and it was in favour of the Frenchwoman - 44:45. 

The silver medal won in Basel became Olga Kharlan's 22nd European Championship medal, Alina Komashchuk's fifth, Olena Kravatska's fourth, and Yulia Bakastova's third.

  

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