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Henry M. Robert

Gold-winner Olha Kharlan is a five-time champion now

How many awards can Ukrainian national expect at the European Fencing Championship?
11 June, 2014 - 18:01

Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan has for the fourth time in her sports career won the title of Europe’s champion in individual competition in Strasbourg. According to press service of the National Fencing Federation of Ukraine, this year’s finals of the European Fencing Championships almost completely repeated the finals five years ago in Plovdiv, where in the crucial bout our athlete as well defeated Russian Katerina Dyachenko. On the whole, Kharlan has been defending the title of the strongest sabre fencer of Europe for four consecutive years, starting with 2011. For the first time she won the title of the champion of Europe in 2009 in Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. Apart from individual European awards Kharlan has won two team gold medals (2009 and 2010), and silver medal in the team European championships in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

It is interesting that Russians became Olha’s main rivals at the European Championship. So, in one-eighth of the final our athlete met with Dina Galiakbarova (15:11) and later defeated Yana Egorian (15:8).

The Day asked Vadym HUTSAIT, vice president of the National Fencing Federation of Ukraine, how many more victories Ukrainian fans can expect from our national team.

“It turned out so that Kharlan defeated three Russians on her way to victory in this championship. But for us, sportsmen, the fact of victory is the crucial one. We sensitize our fencers to treat competitions without unnecessary emotions. Russians are the same athletes, like Japanese, Americans, or Italians. At the European Championships this time they [Russians. – Author] were very strong, but our Olia was the strongest. Today the team competitions continue,” Vadym HUTSAIT noted. “Of course, we hope there will be more victories. And our hopes are not groundless. Every team can expect to win the gold. Those who want to win the most will win. I see the desire to win as a combination of technique, tactic of fencing, temper, will, and sports preparation. Kharlan’s preparation is traditionally high. Soon we will see how much other members of our team wanted to win.”

As a reminder, the 27th European Fencing Championships are underway in the French city of Strasbourg and will last till June 14. Ukraine is represented by 25 fencers.

By Vadym LUBCHAK, The Day