Women's epee team through to Tokyo Summer Olympics

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Estonian women's epee team. From left Erika Kirpu, Julia Beljajeva, Katrina Lehis and Kristina Kuusk. Source: TRIFILETTI / BIZZI Team

The Estonian women's epee (fencing) team has qualified for this year's Tokyo Olympics despite losing in the quarter-finals of the recent world championship stage in Kazan, Russia, ERR's sports portal reports.

Estonia's main rival for the final spot was France, but with the latter's loss to China, Estonia was able to go through.

"In order to be certain of qualifications, we needed to beat Russia. But, unfortunately we lost by just one point," coach Kaido Kaabermaa told ETV. 

"However, on the sidelines, China beat France, after which it was clear that they would not be able to overtake Estonia, meaning the latter would reach the Olympics," Kaabermaa added.

Estonia, consisting of the regular epee lineup of Julia Beljajeva, Irina Embrich, Erika Kirpu and Katrina Lehis, had beaten Ukraine 45:33 and advanced to the quarterfinals to meet Russia, who had beaten Japan, on Tuesday.

Russia beat Estonia by just one point in overtime, 28:27, but China overcame France 42:38, handing the Tokyo spot to the Estonians by default.

The eight best teams from the FIE World Cup Epee tournament held in Kazan are through to the Olympics in Tokyo later this year.

 Estonia in fact lost its consolation match gainst Hungary, before beating France in their own right, 41:32.

The Tokyo Olympics run July 23 to August 8, after being postponed from last year due to the pandemic.

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.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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