Decidedly, Maxime Pauty feels good in Asia. A little over three months after his last podium in the World Cup, in Tokyo, on December 9, the shooter from Issy-les-Moulineaux (29 years old) returned this Sunday with a podium in a major international competition, during the Busan Grand Prix (South Korea), where he won the bronze medal.
The foil fencer, Olympic team champion – already – in the Japanese capital in the summer of 2021, had an excellent tournament, eliminating Italian world vice-champion Tommaso Marini (15-13) in the quarter-finals, before colliding in half against another Transalpine, Alessio Foconi (15-4), future winner in the final against the Olympic champion Cheung Ka Long (Hong Kong).
Something to reassure him about his form after a slightly less sharp sequence in terms of results (25th ranked at Coubertin, 8th at the Turin Grand Prix, 15th in Cairo). It also bodes well for the selections for the European Championships in Krakow (Poland, June 25 to 30) and the World Championships in Milan (Italy, July 22 to 30), where the two best French people will automatically qualify.
His bronze medal, won in South Korea, puts him on par with the leader of the French team, the double world champion Enzo Lefort, the only other blue to have obtained two international podiums since the start of the season ( 3rd in Bonn, Germany, and Cairo, Egypt).
Lefort very close, Thibus very far
In verve, the Melun shooter Enzo Lefort came very close to a new performance (10th ranked), eliminated in the round of 16 by the Japanese Takahiro Shikine after a good pass of arms (15-12) and an acrobatic touch planted in the back of his opponent but counted as invalid, the fly of his foil reaching the underside of the electric armor of the Japanese. “The high level is in the details”he did not fail to point out on his Instagram account.
Among the women, the leader of the Bleues Ysaora Thibus missed her exit, eliminated in the second round by the surprising American Zander Rhodes (15-8). Pauline Ranvier (10th ranked) spent one more lap, defeated in the round of 16 by the Japanese Sera Azuma, only to be beaten in the final by another American, Lee Kiefer.