September 27, 2023

Kharlan’s Ukraine miss out on team medal at fencing worlds

Milan (AFP) – Olha Kharlan’s Ukrainian fencing team on Sunday missed out on a medal at the world championships, finishing fourth days after her controversial disqualification and reinstatement.

The Ukrainian women’s sabre team lost 45-32 to South Korea in the bronze medal match in Milan after being beaten by France in the semi-finals.

Kharlan had been disqualified on Thursday for refusing to shake the hand of opponent Anna Smirnova, after the Ukrainian’s win over the Russian in the individual event.

She was reinstated by the International Fencing Federation (FIE), allowing the 32-year-old four-time Olympic medallist to take part in Sunday’s team competition.

Kharlan was also awarded a place in the individual competition at the 2024 Paris Olympics, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach announced.

By finishing fourth in worlds, where points count for double, Kharlan’s team scored valuable points in the race to qualify for the team event at the Olympics.