Home News Ukrainian Fencer Disqualified After Not Shaking Palms With Russian Opponent

Ukrainian Fencer Disqualified After Not Shaking Palms With Russian Opponent

Ukrainian Fencer Disqualified After Not Shaking Palms With Russian Opponent


Olga Kharlan, a four-time Olympic fencing medalist, was disqualified from the World Fencing Championships in Milan on Thursday after refusing to shake fingers along with her Russian opponent.

After Ms. Kharlan defeated Anna Smirnova, a Russian competitor who had joined the competitors with a impartial standing, Ms. Smirnova prolonged her hand to Ms. Kharlan, who prolonged her saber as an alternative. Based on the game’s guidelines, a fencing bout doesn’t finish till the 2 fencers have saluted one another and shaken fingers, and the referee can penalize those that don’t comply.

The Ukrainian Fencing Federation mentioned on Thursday that Ms. Kharlan had “convincingly” received and would attraction the disqualification.

A number of Ukrainian political officers condemned the disqualification, tying it on to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Anna Smirnova misplaced the truthful competitors and determined to play soiled with the handshake present,” Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s overseas minister, mentioned on Twitter, including that Ms. Smirnova’s conduct was precisely how the “Russian military acts on the battlefield.”

Ruslan Stefanchuk, the Ukrainian Speaker of Parliament, praised Ms. Kharlan on the Telegram messaging app, writing that not shaking fingers “is a classy type of simply ignoring terrorists with no title, no honour, no flag below which they compete.”

Ms. Kharlan, 32, is among the many world’s high fencers, having received a gold medal within the group saber competitors on the 2008 Olympic Video games in Beijing. Since then, she additionally has two bronze medals and a silver in Olympic competitors.

Russia and Belarus weren’t invited by the Worldwide Olympic Committee to compete as nations in subsequent 12 months’s Summer season Olympics in Paris. However it’s potential that fencers from each nations will be capable of take part as impartial athletes, with out their nationwide flags or anthems, as long as they meet sure necessities, comparable to not having proven public assist for the invasion.

With conflict as a backdrop, drama within the sport has been enjoying out in the USA and elsewhere this summer season. Three fencers who left Russia and denounced the invasion competed as impartial athletes at the USA summer season championships earlier this month in Phoenix. This departure was so embarrassing to the Russians that it led to the firing of the nation’s high épée coach.

On Wednesday, Igor Reizlin, a Ukrainian fencer, withdrew from his competitors towards a Russian opponent on the world championships in Milan.

One former high Russian fencer expressed his sympathy for Ms. Kharlan on Thursday. Konstantin Lokhanov, who participated for Russia within the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and now lives in San Diego, mentioned in an interview that he thought the disqualification of Ms. Kharlan might need been a entice set by her Russian opponent. Except overturned, the disqualification within the particular person saber competitors additionally may forestall Ms. Kharlan from competing within the group fencing competitors on the world championships.

On the one hand, the Worldwide Fencing Federation had little selection however to stick to its guidelines about shaking fingers, mentioned Mr. Lokhanov, who’s the previous husband of a Russian Olympic fencing champion and the previous son-in-law of the president of the Russian Olympic Committee. Then again, Mr. Lokhanov mentioned, the tapping of blades was the accepted acknowledgment of an opponent in the course of the pandemic and remains to be thought of appropriate by many fencers.

“I assist Olga,” he mentioned. “For my part she made the correct determination. I perceive why she made it. However I don’t see any purpose why this Russian lady needed to make that drama. She may have simply touched blades; the bout was over.”

Marc Santora contributed reporting.



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