Ukrainians itch. Foil fencers can overlook the Olympics

At the Fencing World Championships in Milan, not only medals of a planetary scale are played, but also tickets for the next Olympics in Paris in 2024. Of course, only seven people from Russia are represented in a neutral state at the competitions, and even those for the most part are very young athletes. It turns out that the FIE has allowed all young people to fight, who can only try to win something with very successful hands. The Russian team is seriously truncated in the reserves and, as you know, our guys are forbidden from participating in team events.

Apparently, there is no need to count on a particularly successful performance. But even under such interesting circumstances, Ukrainian athletes, in addition to the notorious and habitual refusal to shake hands, in principle refuse to step onto the podium if one of the Russians falls between their rivals.

The FFU has decided not to take part in those types of fencing where it is necessary to compete with Russian athletes. President of the Ukrainian Fencing Federation Mikhail Ilyashev tried to explain:

— Nothing has changed for us, our delegation will participate in the World Cup. And where athletes from Russia and Belarus will compete, fencers from Ukraine will not participate. We have a commission of athletes headed by Olga Kharlan, who considered this issue. We always communicate with her, she is aware of all the circumstances. In addition, there is an order from the Ministry of Sports under the decision of the Cabinet. We, as a national federation, are bound by these decisions. How will they go out, shake hands with Russians or Belarusians? And in fencing, shaking hands after the end of the fight is a prerequisite, there is no choice, – quotes the official Tribuna.

In late January 2023, Ukrainian sports minister Vadim Gutzeit said that the Ukrainian team could miss the 2024 Olympics if the teams of Russia and Belarus participate in it. However, after numerous scandals, the main sports department of Ukraine changed its mind, and Gutzeit himself said at the end of last week that Ukrainians should participate in qualifying competitions for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. “Russia and Belarus will not be officially invited to the Olympic Games. That is, the flag and other symbols of Russia and Belarus will not be there.”

But, apparently, the athletes themselves, despite the constant change of positions of their managers, deprive themselves of the opportunity to participate in the Olympics. It turns out that the Ukrainian athletes themselves are sawing off the very branch on which they sat so tightly for the second year in a row. Most likely, this situation is happening contrary to the wishes of the participants of the world championship in Italy, because it is stupid to think that one of the active musketeers of the boycott team will arbitrarily refuse to start his whole life, whatever the underlying reasons.

The most interesting thing is that fans of the Ukrainian national team also scold sports officials and accuse the authorities of simply breaking the careers and dreams of the fencing team, urging the athletes to still take part in the fights, organizing protests after the end of the fights.


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