Fencer Kruse overcomes mugging to win Shanghai Grand Prix

Fencer Kruse overcomes mugging to win Shanghai Grand Prix

21 May 2017 / 21:51

Richard Kruse admits the adrenaline was pumping after winning the Shanghai Grand Prix, just days after being mugged.

Kruse produced his best result of the season in China, as he beat Italy’s Alessio Foconi – one place above him at ninth in the world rankings – 15-8 in the final to win the foil.

The Brit had received a bye through the qualifying rounds, so began his competition by beating German fencer Benjamin Kleibrink 15-9, which set him up for further victories over American Nick Itkin (15-6), Hong Kong’s world No.7 Cheung Ka Long (15-11) and Italian Lorenzo Nista (15-8).

He then recorded a ninth victory in 12 career meetings with world No.6 Erwann Le Pechoux of France, prevailing 15-13, before the victory over Foconi in the showpiece.

And having been mugged shortly after arriving in Shanghai during the build-up to the competition, Kruse claims he was raring to get started once competition got underway

“The adrenaline that went through my body was unbelievable,” said Kruse.

“When I came to fence here, I was ready to fight.

“That’s the truth but you probably don’t want to publish that!”

Kruse finished fourth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but – after victory in Shanghai sees him climb to No.5 in the world ranking – the 33-year-old believes the heartbreak could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

“Maybe [coming fourth in Rio] was the best thing to happen to me,” he mused. “Had I got a medal then perhaps I wouldn’t have had the motivation to carry on.”

Sportsbeat 2017

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