Fencing champions set to shine at MKFA International Epee Cup

Denzil Pinto 10/12/2015
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Top draw: Ruben Limardo.

World and Olympic champions will be among the fencers to battle for glory when the MKFA International Epee Cup gets under way this weekend and you can witness all the action for free.

Venezuela’s Ruben Limardo, gold medalist at the London Olympic Games three years ago, headlines a strong field in the adults event on Saturday at Dubai International Academy in Emirates Hills.

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Spectators can also look forward to seeing two-time world champion Nikolai Novosjolov, who won gold in 2010 and 2013, in action.

And besides the adults competition, junior fencers will be on the mat on Friday at the same venue, hoping to clinch a medal in this prestigious tournament.

Now in its fifth edition, the event has been hugely popular. But it is the first time fencers of high pedigree will be participating in this tournament as they cross swords in the UAE.

Nikolai Novosjolov and Ulrich Robeiri compete in the men's team epee final in June.

It promises to be a thrilling event and certainly will provide plenty of enthralling encounters.

All eyes will be on Limardo, with the 30-year-old looking to add another title to his cabinet which includes two gold medals in the Pan American Games.

Tournament director, Mihail Kouzev said: “Of all the competitions so far, this has to be up there with the best.

“It will be a unique event, with a positive atmosphere and memorable finals are in store.

“We are honoured to welcome the Olympic champion Ruben and the two times world champion Nikolai Novosjolov.

“Our vision is to put Dubai on the world map of fencing and this event is an important milestone.”

VENUE: Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills
WHAT: MKFA International Epee Cup
WHEN: Friday and Saturday from 10:00
Sport360 VERDICT: With Olympic and world champions competing, expect some thrilling contests.
CONTACT: For more information, visit www.mkfencingacademy.com.

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Facing the exit door: Saina Nehwal.

Saina Nehwal, who became the first Indian woman to claim the world number one spot earlier in the year, looks certain to end her 2015 with an early departure from the Super Series finals in Dubai.

Nehwal's 21-14, 21-6 loss to Nozomi Okuhara, the lively world number nine from Japan, was ominous enough, but her explanation for the one-sidedness of the loss made it seem as if her season is all but over.

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Nehwal admitted she has not been able to train since injuring an Achilles tendon three weeks ago, and her movement was just not light enough or enduring enough against Okuhara who, as she said, "gets everything back".

Worse still Nehwal is in a group containing the favourite, Carolina Marin of Spain, and the titleholder Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan.

Both of them look in decent shape, and both of them she would probably have to beat to be able to qualify for the semi-finals.

"I'm not putting myself under any pressure to win these," she said.

"It's going to be very, very, very tough."

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Australia win gold at 2015 FAI World Air Games in Dubai

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The main venue for the competition is the Skydive Dubai dropzone.

Bruce de Chastel claimed gold in the Aeromodelling F3T division as Australia got its name on the medals table at the 2015 FAI World Air Games, which is being held in Dubai until December 12.

With truant weather once again forcing the cancellation of several planned events on the World Air Games schedule, organisers decided to go ahead with the Aeromodelling F3T division.

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The USA have topped the medals standings with eleven medals, including five golds, three silver and three bronzes each.

France occupied second place with one gold, two silver, while Poland completed the top three with a gold and silver haul. The UAE, with Cornelia Mihai in excellent form, stand in fourth with one gold and three bronze medals, while Lithuania is in fifth position with a gold and bronze each.

However, it was De Chastel hogging all the limelight on the eighth day of competition as he teamed up with his wife Linda to land the gold medal for Australia in the Aeromodelling F3T or Semi-Scale Pylon Racing.

The competition is taking place in Dubai until December 12.

In Pylon Racing, pilots go head-to-head in their radio controlled model aircraft that fly through a course of pylons, similar to what occurs in a full-scale Red Bull Air Race.

Each pilot goes through a knock-out competition with the best two meeting in the final, while the other two semi-finalists battle for the bronze medal.

De Chastel’s win came against a tough competition and an even tougher challenger from the blustery winds that have literally cut down activities at the World Air Games for two consecutive days.

His main aircraft crashed and he had to use his back-up model to win the gold medal. In fact, the back-up model helped him post the second fastest time under really tough weather conditions.

With De Chastel taking gold, the silver went to Mario Muller of Germany, while Paolo Mucedola of Italy came in third to take the bronze.

Meanwhile, the weather forecast has predicted an improved day for Wednesday December 9 so the events are expected to be conducted as per schedule. Winds are scheduled to fall down to between 9 and 18 kilometres per hour with the forecast being sunny, pleasant and warmer.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the fourth edition of the World Air Games is being held in 23 different disciplines at various dropzones in Dubai. The main venue for the competition is the Skydive Dubai dropzone where activities will be held daily until the finals on December 12 (Saturday).

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