The final of the 2014 Padova World Cup was a masterful performance by Szilagyi. The whole thing is crammed full of spectacular sabre, but there’s a pair of hits which start with almost identical setups and end with diametrically opposed finishes. The technical details on display here are absolutely superb.
First comes this gorgeous attack. This is a perfect illustration of a composite march. The footwork is minutely responsive to every action by the defender, allowing Szilagyi to get out of range of Gu’s beats and counters and then flow forward again in an immediate resumption of priority. It’s beautifully executed, and leaves Gu seriously demoralised.
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After a tense string of simultaneous hits, Szilagyi uses almost exactly the same setup to draw Gu into his parry and take control of the attack. This time Gu, keen to avoid a repeat of the previous point, pushes more aggressively on the defense and manages to take a beat, but Szilagyi’s bladework and distance are ultimately just too good.
After that, it pretty much looked like Gu just wanted to go home.
The full match is available on CyrusofChaos‘ YouTube channel:
The first half is close. The second half is a bloodbath. But it’s an interesting bloodbath with lovely fencing, so I guess that makes it OK.