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Fencers surrender European title

Sophie Lamon's best efforts weren't enough to save the Swiss team

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss women's fencing team are returning empty-handed from the European Championships, after failing to take a single medal in either the individual or the team events.

After winning silver medals at last year's Sydney Olympics, the épée team were hoping to defend their European title. The women suffered from an unfortunate draw in Koblenz, however, where they were once again pitted against Russia.

The Russians, who denied Switzerland the gold medal at the Olympics, proved their abilities once more, seeing off the Swiss 45-36.

Teenage star Sophie Lamon acquitted herself well, coming away from her bouts with a net gain of two points, but Diana Romagnoli and Tabea Steffen both finished with negative balances.

The Swiss team had to do without leader Gianna Hablützel-Bürki, who was forced to withdraw from both the individual and team competition, suffering from a respiratory infection.

A subsequent 25-45 defeat against Germany was followed up by wins over the Czech Republic and Greece, earning the Swiss team 13th place overall.

After their win over Switzerland, the Russian trio only just managed to reach the final, thanks to a 45-44 win over Estonia. The Russians then had to settle for the silver medal though, after losing the championship decider to Hungary (45-36).

Ukraine beat Estonia to take the bronze.

swissinfo with agencies

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