Three-time Olympic champion Áron Szilágyi won the first World Championship gold medal of his career at the World Fencing Championships in Cairo after defeating France’s Maxime Pianfetti 15-14 in the final.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
Szilágyi started with a 15-6 win over Amaar Alammari of Kuwait before defeating China’s Hsiu Ying-ming 15-13 in a thrilling match. In the round of the last eight, he won with a spirited and determined performance against his teammate, 2017 World Champion and 2019 World Championship silver medalist András Szatmári, 15:9, and in the round of the last eight he beat Italy’s Pietro Torre 15:8.
His opponent in the semifinals was Sandro Bazadze, the Georgian fencer whom he defeated in the semifinals at the Olympic Games last year, but who also stopped Szilágyi in the round of the last 32 at this year’s European Championships. This time Szilágyi won 15:11.
Áron Szilágyi and Georgian Sandro Bazadze in the men’s individual fencing semi-final at the World Fencing Championships in Cairo, July 18, 2022. Photo by Mohamed Hosam/MTI/EPA
In the final, Szilágyi faced Maxime Pianfetti, who was in good form all day and managed to pull ahead 6-3 in the early stages. But then the Hungarian fencer scored five goals in a row, then came the break, after which Szilágyi scored two more. But the French fencer did not give up, fought hard to close the gap, and equalized 12-14, but the last hit was by Szilágyi – and the point awarded to him after the replay was reviewed.
He thereby added a World Championship gold medal in the individual competition to his three Olympic gold medals (London, Rio, Tokyo) and one European Championship gold (2015, Montreux). His only World Championship victory came in 2007 in St. Petersburg as part of the team.
Featured image: Áron Szilágyi after his victory against Maxime Pianfetti of France in the men’s individual final of the World Fencing Championships in Cairo, July 18, 2022.