Tonye Sawari wins Knights Men’s Épée Satellite Fencing crown
Nigeria’s Tonye Sawari on Saturday won the 2022 Knights Men’s Épée Satellite Fencing tournament with a 15-11triumph over Moyosore Babalola.
In a keenly-contested final held at the Lagos Continental Hotel, both fencers ran neck to neck just before the first break, as Babalola led 6-5.
The final three minutes saw a rejuvenated Sawari turning the heat on his compatriot to lead for the first time 8 to 7 with the clock counting down at one minute, 57 seconds.
Three more consecutive points saw Sawari widening his advantage to 11 to seven with about 80 seconds remaining. At 15 seconds to go, Sawari has put daylight between himself and his opponent with scores at 14 to 9. Both scored a point just before the sound of the buzzer for a final score of 15 to 10.
Sawari described his victory as a dream come true, saying that as of two months ago, all those he defeated at the championship were beating him effortlessly in training.
“I am so delighted to be the winner here today and I thank my family and the federation for their support,” he added.
He went home with a gold medal and $500 as prize money.
Silver medalist, Babalola got $200, while Nigeria’s Iyinoluwa Babarinsa and Djibril Affo-Mefi of Togo, joint bronze medalists, got $150 each.
Speaking on the tournament, Nigeria Fencing Federation (NFF) President, Adeyinka Samuel, expressed delight at the successful outcome of the event, which also featured kids, as part of side attractions to commemorate World Fencing Day on September 10.
“This is another landmark in the history of Fencing in Nigeria, as it marks the first time a championship of this magnitude is hosted in sub-Sahara Africa.
“Let me categorically say that Fencing has come to stay in Nigeria, as there has been consistent growth of interest in the sport over the past few years,” he said.