Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan has won the Grand Prix of the Fencing World Cup in women’s sabre fencing, which was held in Beijing (China) May 23 through 25. The press service of the National Fencing Federation of Ukraine told The Day that on her way to victory the Ukrainian athlete has defeated Eileen Grench (Panama), Monica Aksamit (US), Dagmara Wozniak (US), Kim Ji-Yeon (South Korea). In the final Kharlan defeated the host of the tournament, Chinese Shen Chen. No other Ukrainian athletes have taken part in the Beijing competition, as Ukraine has been able to send to China only Kharlan, instead of a four-athlete team, because of financial difficulties.
These days Ukrainian epee fencer Bohdan NIKISHYN has won the stage of the World Cup in Buenos Aires (Argentine). Our athlete defeated Gauthier Grumier from France. According to the chief coach of the national fencing team of Ukraine, Garnik DAVIDIAN, Ukraine has managed to send a complete team to this competition. And almost all of them have shown good results. So, Maksym Khvorost showed seventh result, Ihor Reizlyn – eleventh.
“We have come to Beijing because we missed the Grand Prix in Moscow. Because of the situation between our countries the athletes did not go to Russia. Therefore to boost the rating, it was a strategic need to go to China. We are getting ready for the Championship of Europe, which will start in three weeks. On the stage of preparation for these competitions we badly need victories like this one, which made Kharlan more confident. This is Olha’s fourth victory in this season,” noted Davidian in a commentary to The Day. “The performance of Bohdan Nikishyn, who has won in Argentine, was wonderful as well. The whole team showed good performance. This is a serious result of the practice of Ukrainian fencing school. On the whole, the preparation for the finals of the championships of Europe and the world is going in a normal way. The only thing that worries is the lack of funding. Frankly, it is not serious when a team, which takes part in the competition, is supposed to consist of four athletes, and Ukraine sends only Kharlan because of financial difficulties. It turns out that last year’s world champion team cannot participate in a stage of the World Cup in full lineup. This is nonsense. Moreover, since January all our athletes and coaches have been paying out of their own pockets for participation in international competitions. The Ministry of Youth and Sport only buys tickets. The athletes cover hotel costs, pay for meals, and even registration fees, which is quite expensive. We have been promised that this money could be returned, but it has not been returned yet. The problem is that not all of the athletes have such money. So far we hold on. On enthusiasm. If the financial situation does not improve, it will be very problematic to take part in serious international competitions.”