Fencer Leonie Ebert wins EM gold with the foil

“Thank you Antalya” was the only comment that Leonie Ebert sent on her Instagram channel, with a heart and the subtle note: “European Champion!!!”. But her happiness was so imprinted on her face that she showed the same bright smile in all four photos. And she had every reason to.

Leonie Ebert won the gold medal with the foil at the start of the European Fencing Championships in Antalya. The 22-year-old from Future Team Werbach won the final on Friday evening against two-time world champion Arianna Errigo from Italy with 15:11. Previously, she had already knocked out her teammate, the great Alice Volpi, with 15:9, on whom she had just failed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Already in first place after a perfect preliminary round, the young, dynamic Leonie Ebert was unstoppable in her European Championship battles. None of her opponents threw her even remotely, which could be seen from the outstanding results: Ebert always won clearly up to the final, allowing her opponents only single-digit hits – Anna Poltz (Hungary) and Olivia Wohlgemuth (Austria) dismantled them 15:6, the British Carolina Stutchbury in the quarterfinals 15:9.

Multitalented athlete

Ballet, athletics, tennis, swimming – Leonie Ebert is a multi-talented athlete, but she got stuck in fencing. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 she was the only German participant in all arms. The young Franconian did well, but met Alice Volpi in the round of 16 and lost 13:15.

This time Volpi wasn’t an opponent for Ebert, who left her 15:9 on the planche. The two-time European champion Arianna Errigo then led 3-0 in the final, but Ebert was able to reverse the deficit by the middle of the battle. Errigo then had to chase after a growing deficit – ultimately in vain. In the end, the student of the Italian national coach Giovanni Bortolaso ​​had strong nerves and deservedly prevailed against her 34-year-old opponent.

“Leonie was extremely focused from the start,” praised Sven Ressel, sports director of the German Fechter-Bund (DFeB): “Clear victories in the preliminary round were followed by sovereign battles in the direct elimination,” he analyzed. She absolutely deserved the gold. For the promising Leonie Ebert, winning the European Championship was the greatest success of her fledgling career. She had already won bronze with the team in 2017.

Ebert’s teammate Anne Sauer was also able to fight her way through to the quarter-finals without any problems. Only then did Volpi slow Sauer down in the quarter-finals – the 31-year-old sports soldier, who had won the first World Cup of her career in Belgrade in April, took fifth place. “Anne was also in a great mood,” Ressel acknowledged her performance: “Unfortunately, she met the second in the world rankings in the quarter-finals and narrowly lost.”

No success for the saber lords

The saber men around Matyas Szabo meanwhile remained without a medal in the individual. Szabo, the only one from the legendary Dormagen world champion team around Max Hartung who has not yet ended his career, initially managed a superior 15:5 victory against Piotr Szczepanik (Poland) after a flawless preliminary round.

In the second round he unfortunately met the future European champion Sandro Bazadze from Georgia, to whom he lost 13:15 in a close match. So Szabo got stuck in 17th place. But the foil gold for Ebert outshone the small saber damper on this opening day of the European Championship.

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