Ysaora Thibus and Julien Mertine in bronze at the Shanghai Grand Prix

A regular and a returning. The French foil team managed to place two representatives on the podium of the Grand Prix of Shanghai (China) this Sunday with the third places of Ysaora Thibus and Julien Mertine.

For the world champion, this fourth international podium in six outings only confirms her excellent season, in the continuity of her second place brought back from the World Cup in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) at the beginning of May. Very little worried in the four matches that led her to the last four, the second world shooter finally lost heavily in the semi-finals against the German Anne Sauer (15-4), final winner. Note the sixth place of Solène Butruille (25 years old, 42nd in the world), who reached the quarter-finals for the first time in her career.

Return to the foreground of Mertine

Among the men, the big blow therefore came from Julien Mertine. Back down to 112th in the world, the former member of the top 10 first extricated himself from the tricky group stage on Saturday. In the main draw, the Olympic team champion in Tokyo made his way to the semi-finals, notably beating Hong Kong’s Ka Long Cheung (15-8), individual Olympic champion and world number two, in the second round.

Snatching his place on the podium with a touch in the quarter-finals against the American Miles Chamley-Watson (15-14), the 34-year-old foil fencer gave up his arms against another American, Alexander Mialas (15-4 ), winner of the event. This bronze medal puts an end to a long period of scarcity, he who had not had an international podium since his victory in Bonn (Germany) in November 2019. Among the other French foil fencers, Roger Wallerand (24 years old, 130th world) took eighth place while world champion Enzo Lefort lost as soon as he entered the running.

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