French foilists led by Enzo Lefort crowned European champions five weeks before the Olympics

French foilists led by Enzo Lefort crowned European champions five weeks before the Olympics
French foilists led by Enzo Lefort crowned European champions five weeks before the Olympics

The French foilists were crowned European fencing champions this Friday in Basel, five weeks before the opening of the Paris Olympics, where they will try to achieve a double after their Olympic coronation three years ago in Tokyo.

Enzo Lefort’s band outclassed the Hungarians, surprise guests in the final, 45-30 to bring French fencing its second title of the week and its sixth medal.

Title holders, the Italians of European and world champion Tommaso Marini were overthrown in the semi-final by Hungary, only 12th nation in the world and which had not set foot on the podium of a major championship since 21 years old. The Magyar collective did not manage to recover from this first exploit, celebrated like a global title in a joy contrasting with the deserted stands of the Halle Saint-Jacques.

Conversely, the reaction was immediate for Enzo Lefort, three days after his individual elimination in the round of 16 by the Spaniard Ignacio Breteau, 160th in the world rankings. A “malpractice”he got annoyed.

The double world champion (2019 and 2022) only lost one relay of the day, without consequence since it was the one to conclude, with a margin, the quarter-final against Austria (45-38) .
This is the second French foil medal after Maxime Pauty’s individual bronze. If the names are familiar, it is because with the exception of Maximilien Chastanet, the three others were from the Tokyo Olympic coronation. The three musketeers, as they are called, Lefort, Pauty and Julien Mertine have not left the European final since 2019, the year of their previous continental coronation.

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