France has just won two gold medals, one after the other, at the World Fencing Championships in Cairo. The French Ysaora Thibus was crowned foil world champion on Tuesday 19 July. A few minutes later, Frenchman Romain Cannone became world epee champion. Maxime Pianfetti went for the silver medal in saber on Monday.
A year after conquering gold to everyone’s surprise at the Tokyo Olympics (OG), Cannone went to seek the world title thanks to his victory against the Japanese Kazuyasu Minobe in the final, 15 touches to 12. After sharing his joy with the other swordsmen of the French delegation, the French climbed on the highest step of the podium, adorning himself with the gold medal and the Egyptian nemes, the headdress of the pharaohs.
At 25, the world number 1 in his discipline confirms his domination of the international epee. Two years from the Paris Olympics, he also proves that his unexpected title of Tokyo was not the result of a providential alignment of planets, but the sign of a rise in power.
“I digested my change of status, he confided last month. I don’t enter the competition thinking that I am an Olympic champion and that, suddenly, I deserve to win. Anyone can beat anyone, especially in swordsmanship. You have to keep that in mind. »
He who had never touched a World Cup podium with a sword, has collected three since his coronation in Japan. His only misstep came at the European Championships in Antalya last month, where he was eliminated in the first round. In Cairo, he took his revenge on his Euro scorer, the Belgian Neisser Loyola, by dismissing him to sudden death (15-14) in the semi-finals, the match where the Frenchman was the most fear.
After bronze and silver, gold for Thibus
Moments earlier, Ysaora Thibus had set an example in the foil final. Bronze medalist in 2017 and silver in 2018, Thibus has this time taken the extra step to finally win gold on the world stage. After a scare in the ankle in the quarter-finals, the 30-year-old foil fencer overpowered the world number 4, the Italian Arianna Errigo, 15 touches to 10 in the final.
The Guadeloupean is thus bouncing back brilliantly after her disappointment, in the summer of 2021, at the Tokyo Olympics, when she was released in the second round of the individual tournament. Even the silver medal won by teams had not alleviated his distress. Psychologically affected, she had taken four months to resume training, telling AFP last month:
“I really didn’t want to hear about fencing anymore. I was psychologically exhausted after these Games. I made the decision to put things in place to continue until the Paris Olympics and I found the desire to train again, the pleasure in training. Not all the time, but generally yes. »
Ysaora Thibus is the first French foil fencer crowned world champion since the title of Marie-Chantal Demaille, in 1971. The two winners of the day bring France its first two titles in these Worlds. The Blues have three medals in total after Maxime Pianfetti’s silver in saber on Monday. They hope to continue in this good momentum, from Wednesday, during the finals of women’s saber and men’s foil.