Two Estonian women fencers face each other in Saudi Arabia
Two of Estonia's women's epee team are facing off against each other in the world championship stage in Saudi Arabia this weekend. Kristina Kuusk and Erika Kirpu will compete against each other in a tournament which overall will also count towards qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Estonians most famously took Gold in the team event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, held in 2021, while Katrina Lehis took individual bronze, and are hoping for success next year too.
Nelli Differt automatically qualified for the last 64 on ranking, while Erika Kirpu reached the same stage by winning all of her group matches, portal Delfi reports (link in Estonian).
The individual category will also be used to decide who will represent Estonia at next month's European Championships.
The individual tournament takes place on Saturday, to be followed by the team event on Sunday – the results of the latter will count towards qualification for Paris 2024.
In addition to Differt, Kirpu and Kuusk, Katrina Lehis and Veronika Zuikova are competing.
The women are also due to enter the individual European championship tournament – the first three by rank will do so, with the team to be made up of the first two rankers, plus two more selected by head coach Kaido Kaaberma.
Estonia's rankings ahead of the Saudi Arabia competition are: 1. Differt 409 points, 2. Irina Embrich 290, 3. Kuusk 230, 4. Kirpu 151, 5. Zuikova 117, 6. Julia Beljajeva 111, 7. Lehis 95.
The men are also in action, albeit in a different location, at the world championship stage in Istanbul, Turkey. There, Sten Priinits has made it to the last 64 for Estonia.
The European championship stage is to take place in June.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: ERR Sport