Baku 2015: Men's foil team take gold after tense Italy clash

27 June 2015 / 15:43

 Team GB's men's foil team brought a golden end to proceedings at the European Games in Baku as they clinched top prize in a tight contest with Italy.

The trio of Alexander Tofalides, Marcus Mepstead and Richard Kruse were the last of Britain's athletes to compete at the Games and managed to see off the Italians 45-41 in a tense duel.

The Brits started well and etched out an early advantage thanks to Kruse's 5-3 victory over Lorenzo Nista and Tofalides' 5-1 over Alessio Foconi.

But the Italians were resilient and Nista came out on top 9-6 against Tofalides to close the gap before Francesco Ingargiola gave them the lead.

But a final flurry from Mepstead and Kruse meant it was the Brits - including Ben Peggs who didn't fence - who took gold and Tofalides praised the team's unity.

“It was a very tough match against one of the best nations in the world but we fenced really well as a team and when we needed each other we fought for each other,” he said.

“Thankfully Richard was able to finish it off at the end so it was a really good team performance.”

Britain had earlier seen off Germany with a 45-26 quarter-final triumph and managed to come from behind to edge out France in the semi-finals – again thanks to the efforts of Kruse.

But, despite getting Team GB over the line twice, Kruse thinks it was the strength of the whole that prevailed over individual performances. 

“I knew we were capable of it, on paper they are the stronger team but we showed some real will power today to come together and showed the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he said.  

© Sportsbeat 2015