Two solid groups made for an entertaining day of competition at the Police Academy in Cairo. The men battled hard as 36 made the cut for Saturday’s Final. Kukarin was the main man in Group A with Guo of China taking first place in the other.
Group ‘A’ got proceedings underway on the fencing pistes and it was 20-year-old Russian Alexander Kukarin who made his mark early on, looking confident throughout the bouts as he recorded 24 victories with the epee to claim top spot.
Fastest in the pool was local star Omar El Geziry and having earlier placed 2nd in the fence, just behind Kukarin, the experienced Egyptian found himself on pole for the combined.
El Geziry struggled in the shooting in a topsy-turvy run/shoot which saw Valentin Belaud move up to first after the third round at the range but with an impressive lead, the Frenchman slowed down and crossed the finish line in seventh. El Geziry came in 13th as Kukarin came in first ahead of Mexico’s Ismael Hernandez and Pierpaolo Petroni of Italy in second and third.
At the finish line, Belaud told us, “I took my foot off the gas in order to manage my reserves with the aim to take no risks with my back and save myself for the Final. It is a tough course, different surfaces to deal with and a couple of 180 angle turns along the way. The Final should be interesting.”
The Chinese pair of Haihang Su and Jiahao Han took fourth and fifth places respectively.
Jianli Guo of China was the man in form in Group ‘B’ as he took first place in the fence after having placed third in the swim. With an impressive head start in the combined, he was never under pressure and came home first.
France’s Christopher Patte, who had started on the grid 15th, showed his speed round the run/shoot course to end his day side by side with Guo. It had not been until then the best of the days for the Frenchman after clocking only the eleventh fastest time in the pool and taking 16 victories to 15 defeats on the pistes but he made up for it with a 12:21 around the course.
Just like his brother in the other group, Amro El Geziry started the combined ahead of the pack after his sub-2min time in the water and the second best score in the fence had given him the highest points total at that stage. He however struggled in the final discipline and finshed 13th, one place ahead of Junior World Champion Denys Pavluyk of Ukraine.
Third overall was another Chinese Hepeng Wu as the rest finished in a bunch.