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Estonian fencer Nelli Differt puts team gold in Vancouver down to hard work

Nelli Differt.
Nelli Differt. Source: ERR

The Estonian women's épée team returned to Estonia after winning gold in the Fencing World Cup in Canada last weekend. Nelli Differt put the result down to hard work and a strong fighting spirit.

In Vancouver, the Estonian women's épée team of Irina Embrich, Nelli Differt, Julia Beljajeva and Kristina Kuusk took gold. For Nelli Differt, it was the first time she had done so in a team event at the World Cup. Her previous best result with the team was the third place finish in China back in November 2017.

"Of course, I'm really happy with the result. I've had the opportunity to fence in a team event at the World Championships before, but I never got a result [like this]. Winning in Vancouver was quite a surprise, but it's the result of a lot of hard work," said Nelli Differt after the team returned to Tallinn.

What went differently in Vancouver compared to previous events? "For me, it was definitely that I'm more and more confident. In team fencing too. This time we had a very strong fighting spirit and a feeling of unity. Everybody was out to achieve the same goal. When your backs are against the wall and you have to perform, it makes you work harder," Differt said.

The win in Vancouver also means the Estonian team still have a chance of qualifying for next summer's Paris Olympics. "I haven't added up the points myself, but as far as I know we have a chance. You just have to give it your best. There's no point in me complaining about the statistics, because an athlete's job is to go out and win the competition and then we'll see," Differt said.

In the women's individual competition, Kristina Kuusk was the best among the Estonian team, finishing fifth. Differt went out in the opening round, losing 8-15 to South Korea's Taehee Lim. "This match will stay with me because it was not my type of fencing. I will have to analyze what happened and make some changes for the next match," Differt said.

Estonia's top fencers are next in action at the 2024 Fencing Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar at the end of January, where they will take part in individual events.

After that, they will compete in individual and team events in Barcelona on February 9 – 11 at the Women's Épée Fencing World Cup.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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