Russia earned double gold on the first day of team competition at the European Fencing Championships at the Arena Toruń in Poland.
Their hopes of success were high in the foil competition due to boasting the newly crowned individual champion Timur Safin, while Aleksey Cheremisinov, Artur Akhmatkhuzin and Dmitry Rigin were part of the team who finished as silver medallists at the 2015 European Championships.
After easing past Ukraine 45-29 in the quarter-finals, the quartet gained revenge on France for their defeat last year, recording a 45-34 victory to advance to the gold medal contest.
Italy, who had beaten Britain in their semi-final, fought valiantly against the Russian team but were unable to prevent their opponents from sealing a narrow 45-42 victory to win the gold medal.
The podium was completed by Britain after they secured a 45-28 win over France.
Russia then extended their run of victories in the women’s team sabre competition to five straight years.
Their successful line-up of Ekaterina Dyachenko, Yana Egorian, Yuliya Gavrilova and Sofiya Velikaya again defeated France in the gold medal contest for the third consecutive year, achieving a 45-39 win.
The gold medal was Velikaya’s second of the Championships, having already triumphed in the individual event.
Ukraine beat Poland 45-42 to win the bronze medal.
At the Pan American Fencing Championships in Panama City, Ibtihaj Muhammad earned the individual women’s sabre title in an all-American clash with Mariel Zagunis, the two-time Olympic champion.
Zagunis had, however, been leading the gold medal match 8-2 but was then forced to withdraw through an injury.
After semi-final defeats to the two Americans, Paola Pliego of Mexico and Argentina’s María Belén Pérez Maurice won bronze medals.
Cuba’s Yunior Reytor Venet claimed the men’s épée title as the world number 178 surprisingly overcame American Jason Pryor 15-14 in the final.
Canada’s Maxime Brinck-Croteau and Reynier Henriquez Ortiz of Cuba settled for the bronze medal.