Home » AT THE 2012 LONDON GAMES, THE SWORD TOURNAMENT AWARDS THE OUTSIDER RUBEN LIMARDO – SportHistoria

AT THE 2012 LONDON GAMES, THE SWORD TOURNAMENT AWARDS THE OUTSIDER RUBEN LIMARDO – SportHistoria

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AT THE 2012 LONDON GAMES, THE SWORD TOURNAMENT AWARDS THE OUTSIDER RUBEN LIMARDO – SportHistoria

Rubén Limardo celebrates the London 2012 Gold – from:ilfaroonline.it

Article by Giovanni Manenti

Il The Olympic Fencing Tournament was an extremely grueling test until the 1992 Barcelona Games. including, with those registered for the individuality trials of the three trials (Foil, Sword and Saber) having to undertake three Group Phases before accessing the direct elimination with associated repechages, which is why an athlete had to play a minimum of 19 matches in order to medal…

In time, vice versa, from the subsequent edition of Atlanta 1996 – also thanks to the enlargement of the women’s sector, until then concerning only Foil, first to Epee and then also to Saber from Athens 2004 – the related Tournaments are held with the direct elimination formula, along the same lines as the tennis scoreboardwithout the possibility of appeal, whoever wins advances and whoever loses is eliminated.

Obviously, just as happens in Tennis, the relative pairings are established by the “Seeded”, calculated on the basis of World Ranking drawn up by the FIE – Federation Internationale de Escrimeso that the test ends in a single day with the fencers taking to the stage on a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 6 occasions…

It is clear that with this new regulation there is no margin for error, as vice versa was possible in the past, but it is equally true that the pairing methods hardly lead to athletes who were not included in the restricted lot of favorites facing each other in the final roundi, but as they say, every rule has its exception.

Exception that occurs on the occasion of Sword tournament at the London 2012 Games, where the title won four years earlier in Beijing is up for grabs by the Italian Matteo Tagliarolwho had defeated the French Fabrice Jeannet in the Final, while in the following four-year post-Olympic period the World Championships had crowned the Russian Anton Avdeev – winner in 2009 in Antalya, beating Tagliarol in the Final – with the following year in Paris the Estonian Nikolaj Novosjolov won and in Catania in 2011 it was the other Italian Paolo Pizzo’s turn climb onto the top step of the world podium…

When the The men’s sword tournament begins at 9:00 am on August 1, 2012 on the platforms of the “Exibition Centre London” place in Newhama suburb in the eastern area of ​​the English capital, the relative seeding sees in first place Novosjolov, followed by the Swiss Fabian Kauter (bronze the year before in Catania…), by the Kazakh Elmir Alimzhanov and the reigning world champion Pizzo.

Very few gave credit to it Venezuelan swordsmen pair composed of 33-year-old veteran Silvio Fernandez – with a Palmarès consisting, as the best result in his career, of the individual Gold Medal won at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayaguez 2010, even though he is present across the Channel as seeded n.9 – and the much younger Ruben Limardo, as he was born on 3 August 1985 in Ciudad Bolivara city of over 400 thousand inhabitants…

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Introduced to the practice of fencing by his uncle at the age of just 7, initially Limardo disengages in the Foilexcept that at the age of 12 he suffered a fracture of his right arm due to an accident while using a skateboard forces him to change his hand as well as his weapon, using his left hand and choosing the Sword as it is more rigid.

An ongoing change that ultimately proves fruitful for the young Ruben, whose first ring on the international scene came in 2005 when he became World Junior Champion at the Iridata Exhibition held in Linzin Austria, and then, two years later on the occasion of Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, winning 11-10 in the Final Cuban player Andres Carrillo…

Certainly the best swordsman of the Central and South American continent, Limardo is silver at the 2008 Pan American Championships and takes the title in the 2009 edition in San Salvadorwhile on the occasion of 2011 Pan American Games held in Guadalajara he had to surrender 12-10 in the Final to the American Weston Kelsey and, the following year, at the Pan American Championships in mid-June 2012 in Cancun, he was silver again, beaten this time by the other American Soren Thompson.

Not exactly a stranger, therefore, the 27-year-old Venezuelan, who in fact appears on the stage as the 12th seed, but we believe that the odds offered by English bookmakers for his possible victory are very substantial, also taking into account both the fact that his Olympic debut, four years earlier in Beijing, he was eliminated 15-13 in the second round by Ukrainian Dmitry Chumak and that, in any case, Venezuela had not won any medals until then in Fencing…

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It is said that there must always be a first time, even if the start of the Tournament – with 30 fencers registered with consequent exemption from the first round of the top two seeds Novsjolov and Kauter – does not reserve excessive surprises, if we exclude the elimination of South Korean Park Gyeong-Du (seed n.8) defeated 15-9 by Uzbek Ruslan Kudayev.

Con Limardo beat the Egyptian Ayman Alaa El-Din 15-13in the second round the obstacle is much tougher, being the Swiss Max Heinzer (European bronze in the two-year period 2011-’12 and seeded no. 5) who the Venezuelan easily overcomes 15-11in what turns out to be a real “massacre of favorites” …

In fact, the top three seeds sensationally exit the scene, that is Novosyolov (defeated 15-11 by Kesley), Kauter – with identical “score”, as the pairing with the Frenchman Yannick Borel, who won the team world championship gold the previous year in Catania, was fatal – and Alimzhanov, eliminated with a clear 15-8 by South Korean Jeong Jin-Seon.

The other Venezuelan Fernandez, however, goes ahead and enters the quarter-finals, beating Kudayev with a score of 15-3 which does not allow any replies, so that the South American country incredibly finds itself boasting two of its representatives among the eight remaining in the racewith the underdogs now moving on to Pizzo, the best seed still in contention for the podium…

If it weren’t for that the 29-year-old from Catania had to cross swords with the highly inspired Limardo, who won 15-12 to go and challenge one of his teams in the semi-finalsold acquaintance”, or the aforementioned American Kelsey who had defeated him in the Final the previous year at the Pan American Games and who had interrupted Fernandez’s dreams of glory with a clear 15-9.

From the bottom of the board they emerge Jeong Jin-Seon, 15-11 winner over German Jorg Fiedlerand the biggest surprise of the day, i.e the Norwegian of Polish origin Bartosz Piasecki, trained by his father Mariusz, who makes fun of Borel (15-14) after finishing the first period behind (8-9)…

For the For the first time since the seeding system came into force, none of the semi-final qualifiers are among the top 10the best at this point being Limardo and the worst Piasecki, just 23rd in the Ranking, which is why now more truly “anything can happen”.

The challenge between the Norwegian – who in the first round he had eliminated the other Frenchman Gauthier Grumier 15-10seeded n.10 – and the South Korean is as balanced as ever, given that at the end of the first two periods the score is perfectly equal (10-10), with Piasecki placing the decisive hits in the third, earning access to the Final with the final 15-13…

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The importance of the stakes is seen vice versa the match between Limardo and Kesley was set on the defensive, as certified by the outcome of the two periods, the first ended at 2-2 and the second at 5-5so that additional viewing time is necessary the Venezuelan prevail to compose an unprecedented Final in the History of Olympic Fencinggiven that both countries represented have never seen one of their athletes on the podium in any specialty.

It is difficult to know whether having reached the final act brought about a sort of satisfaction for the Nordic fencer, the fact is that, after a substantially balanced first period (4-3), Limardo takes the lead (12-6) in the second to then reach 14-6 and, having controlled a late comeback attempt by Piasecki, go on to triumph with a score of 15-10

An Outsider on the Throne of Olympia”, would come as a starter, with Limardo who – excluding subsequent successes in the Central and South American Tournaments – demonstrated the year following the Budapest World Championships that such “Day of Gloria” had not been an episode, since it reaches the Final just to submit to the “vendetta” by Novosjolov who clearly prevails 15-7.

A Venezuelan who reaches the final act also in 2018 at the World Championships in Wuxi, China, this time being defeated 15-4 by Borelwhile it is in the Olympic panorama that his star no longer shines, eliminated in the second round at the Rio 2016 Games – curiously by the Egyptian El-Din against whom he had begun his journey to the London Gold – as well as at the Tokyo 2020, when the Frenchman Romain Cannone won 15-12…

It seems that the Gods of Olympus had exhausted their favors on that day in early August 2012…

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