The Opening Ceremony is in the books and the 2020 Olympic Games are officially here – albeit a year later than intended. The festival of sport that brings recognition to events and competitors that don’t usually have the spotlight is always a great time on the sporting calendar and it is one of the few times that the world turns its eyes to the classic dueling sport of fencing. Here are some picks for the fencing winners in Tokyo.
Oh Sang-uk (9/10) is the favorite here with the South Korean World Cup winner and No. 1 ranked fencer looking to win gold in an event usually dominated by Europeans. The only question mark around Oh will be his fitness after a bout of Covid-19 in March sidelined the right-hander and upset his preparations for the games. His main threats to claiming gold with be Hungarian Aron Szilagyi (11/2) and Eli Dershqitz (10/1) of the USA.
Ana Maria Popescu (4/1) will be competing in her fifth Olympics and she is currently the No. 1 ranked women’s epee fencer in the world. Popescu was the key member of the Romanian women’s epee team that won gold in Rio, while she has an individual silver medal from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Others that are in with a shot at gold include the No. 2 ranked Injeong Choi (13/2) of South Korea and world No. 3 Yiwen Sun (7/1) of China.
Pick: This feels like Popescu’s time and I would back her at 4/1 to take home the hardware.
The men’s foil event should be a competitive one with a number of athletes seemingly in good enough form to contend for gold. The Italians will be well represented with both Alessio Foconi (2/1) and Andrea Cassara (10/1) among the favorites. American world No. 2 Gerek Meinhardt (8/1) and Frenchman Enzo Lefort (7/1) – the current world No. 3 – are also expected to be there or thereabouts at the sharp end of the tournament. Don’t be fooled by the short odds of Anton Borodachev, the No. 46 ranked fencer in the world.
Pick: I like Meinhardt to do enough to beat the Italian challenge at 8/1.
The heaviest individual fencing favorite at the games is Inna Deriglazova (9/20) of the Russian Olympic Committee. Deriglazova is comfortably the No. 1 in the world at her discipline, racking up 309,000 points on the circuit over the 2020-2021 season so far. This is comfortably ahead of world No. 2 (and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Elisa Di Francesa of Italy who has less than 200,000 points and isn’t even at the Games. The challenge to defeat the Russian will be left to the likes of French world No. 3 Ysaora Thibus and Italian Alice Volpi (both 8/1).
Other Fencing Picks
|Men’s Team Sabre||South Korea (13/20)|
|Women’s Team Epee||Poland (9/2)|
|Women’s Team Foil||Italy (35/20)|
|Men’s Team Foil||USA (12/10)|
|Women’s Team Sabre||Russian Olympic Committee (12/20)|