After winning the Asian title at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in September, the South Korean national fencing team kicks off a new season of international competition this week. The Fédération Internationale de Fencing (FIE) 2023-2024 season kicks off with the Men’s and Women’s Sabre World Cup in Algiers, Algeria, on September 9.The men’s and women’s Sabre World Cups will be followed by the women’s epee in Legnano, Italy, the men’s epee in Bern, Switzerland, and the men’s flechette in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 10-12.After falling out of the ‘top three’ at the World Championships in July (1 silver, 2 bronze, 7th overall), Korean fencing enters the new season on a high after winning its fourth consecutive overall title at the Hangzhou Asian Games with six gold, three silver and three bronze medals. This season, which will run through May next year, the national fencing team will compete in eight events, including three Grand Prix events per discipline .In Korea, the Sabre Grand Prix will be held in Seoul from May 3-5, as the world ranking as of April 1 of this season will determine the allocation of spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, so the results of each competition reflected in the world ranking have great significance for Olympic qualification .In particular, team results are crucial, as qualifying for the Olympic team event automatically qualifies three athletes per country for the individual competition.
The first four spots are awarded to the highest-ranked team in each discipline, with the remaining four spots going to the highest-ranked team in each of the four zones, from fifth to 16th. For the first competition of the crucial season, the men’s sabre team will feature a number of key players, including Oh Sang-wook (Daejeon Metropolitan Government) and Koo Bon-gil (Korea National Sports Promotion Organization), who battled it out in the individual final at the Hangzhou Asian Games, splitting the gold and silver medals and sharing the team title .However, one of the team’s gold medalists, Kim Jun-ho (Hwaseong City Hall), will not be competing in the event as he is nursing an injury .The women’s sabre team will be led by Jeon Ha-young (Seoul Metropolitan Government) and Seo Ji-yeon (Ansan City Hall) as Asian Games individual gold medalist Yoon Ji-soo continues to recover from injury. The women’s epee team, which saw Choi In-jung (Gyeryong City Hall) hang up her flag after winning two Asian Games titles, will be joined by Song Sera (Busan Metropolitan City Hall), Kang Young-mi (Gwangju Seo-gu Office) and Lee Hye-in (Gangwon-do Office), as well as Yoo Dan-woo (Jeonnam Province).Kwon Young-joon (Iksan City Hall) and Ma Se-gun (Busan Metropolitan City Hall) will compete in the Men’s Epee World Cup, while Ha Tae-gyu (Daejeon City Corporation) and Lee Kwang-hyun (Hwaseong City Hall) will compete in the Men’s Fleuré World Cup. Meanwhile, the women’s flechette, which is not competing this week, will have its first competition of the season at 무료슬롯게임 the World Cup in Novi Sad, Serbia, next month.