The Estonian women's epee team reached the final of a world championship fencing stage in Havana, Cuba, on Sunday, losing to Italy. The result is a big step towards the Summer Olympics, ERR's sports portal reports.
In the first round, the team, consisting of Katrina Lehis, Kristina Kuusk, Erika Kirpu and Julia Beljajeva, overcame Hungary 39:34, setting up a meeting with the U.S. in the quarter finals, who they beat 45:30.
The Estonians then met Ukraine, defeating them 45:33, only to lose in the final 33:30 against Italy.
The result places them in the running for the Tokyo Olympics in July, which allows the top four teams worldwide, followed by the next top team in Europe, Asia, America and Africa, if the team ranks in the top 16 overall.
Since the highest-placing African team, Egypt, is outside the top 16 at present, it could be that Ukraine will get a sport, ERR's sports portal reports.
Estonia had been in 8th place out of 148 teams globally prior to the competition.
The epee is the largest and heaviest of the three weapons used in sport fencing; its rules of engagement differ somewhat from those of the more familiar foil, as there are no rules regarding priority and right of way, and the entire body is a valid target area.
Editor: Andrew Whyte