Fencing: Great Britain's women crushed by favourites Italy in team foil
Thursday 02 August 2012
Britain's women were crushed 42-14 in double-quick time by strong title favourites Italy in the quarter-finals of the fencing team foil at the ExCeL this morning.
Natalia Sheppard, Sophie Troiano and Anna Bentley had beaten Egypt 45-34 to set up the clash with the three medallists in the individual competition.
The gulf in class was obvious from the start, Elisa Di Francisca, Arianna Errigo and Valentina Vezzali - gold, silver and bronze respectively last Saturday - cruising through.
The other three quarter-finals still had a long way to go when the British trio exited the arena to the applause of the sympathetic crowd.
If ever there was a mission impossible, this looked like it.
Britain, 13th in the world, still had to fight for fifth to eighth place and it was fifth-ranked Poland for them next after they, as expected, lost to France.
The only one of the trio to avoid defeat in any of the nine contests was Polish-born Sheppard, but her 2-2 draw with Vezzali in the closing three minutes came with the overall outcome in the bag.
Sheppard had lost 5-0 to Di Francisca and 5-4 to Errigo, while Troiano came out of her three bouts with only one point against Errigo.
As for Bentley, a lowly 165th in the world, she could feel relatively content. She took three points off Errigo and two off Vezzali and Di Francisca.
Earlier Sheppard led the way against the 18th-ranked Egyptians by winning all three of her contests by a combined 22-11 margin, but her two teammates played their parts too.
Although the Italians were overhwelming favourites for the match, Britain had held them to 39-34 in the last eight of the European championships in Sheffield last year and so the margin was another disappointment for a 10-strong home squad which failed to get anybody into the last 16 of any of the individual competitions.
The one remaining chance for a medal is the men's foil team of Richard Kruse, James Davis and Husayn Rosowsky, but they all suffered first round defeats on Tuesday - and they also have to play the top-seeded Italians if they beat Egypt first on Sunday.
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Jose Mourinho dismisses United injury worries, saying 'they have an amazing squad'
Aaron Hernandez: American Football in the dock as NFL star player's murderous double life is revealed
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Why Blues are the least popular team in the league
Arsene Wenger compares talk of Jurgen Klopp replacing him at Arsenal to a 'circus'
Chelsea vs Manchester United combined XI: Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea? Juan Mata or Willian? Who makes our team?
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'