Nathalie MOELLHAUSEN emerge champions of Qatar Grand Prix Fencing Championship 2023
Doha: In the women’s category, Moellhausen trounced Hungary’s Eszter Muhari (ranked 24th), while Candassamy defeated Hong Kong’s Man Wai Vivian Kong (the world No. 3) to set up the exciting final.
Brazil’s world No. 36 Nathalie Moellhausen scripted an upset by defeating her higher-ranked opponent, the 7th-ranked Marie-Florence Candassamy of France, 15-8 to emerge as champion in the women’s category.
“It wasn’t an easy victory considering the ranking of my opponent and the good fight she fought, but I am happy that I won today.” I am leaving with much delight after having had a good outing in Qatar. I hope to continue in this form throughout the season,” Moellhausen said after her victory.
Each of the winners walks away with the $5000 winner’s cash prize, besides the championship medal, while the finalists were rewarded with $3000 each. The semifinalists also got $1500 for their efforts.
The women’s category threw up a lot of surprises, as world No. 1 Choi In-jeong could not make it out of the round of 64, her first game of the tournament, as all the top 32 fencers got a bye into the round of 64. The two-time team Olympic silver medalist and three-time team Asian champion suffered an embarrassing 15-10 defeat at the hands of Switzerland’s Angeline Favre (world No. 40).
Her teammate on the South Korean team, Sera Song (the world No. 2), was also stopped in the quarterfinals by Candassamy, who recorded a 15-12 victory over the 2022 world champion.
QFF President Al-Maadeed said, “We are happy that everything went well and the competition ended on a good note. I would like to congratulate the winners on their victory, and I would also like to extend my appreciation to my team for the successful organization of the competition.”
Points collected from the $22,000 total prize money event count in the Olympic qualification race for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.