Apr 19, 2023

Shoei Hashimoto of Rikkyo’s fencing team wins bronze medal in junior men’s team foil at Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships



Shoei Hashimoto of the fencing team of Rikkyo University’s athletic association shared the bronze medal with his teammates in the junior men’s team foil event at the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships, which were held in Bulgaria April 1-9 2023. Hashimoto, a second-year student at Rikkyo’s Department of Economics, College of Economics, also participated in the junior men’s foil event as an individual.

Teams from 44 countries took part in the junior men’s team foil event. Fencers aged 17 or younger (cadet) and those aged 20 or younger (junior) are qualified to attend the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships if they are ranked in top the four in each country. There are three types of competition: epee, foil and sabre.


A fencer scores a point when any part of the opponent’s body is contacted with a thrust. If the two fencers contact each other simultaneously, they both win a point. Among the three events, this is the most straightforward.


In this event, which Hashimoto won, a fencer scores a point only when striking the opponent’s torso with a thrust. A fencer can earn a point only when the fencer has the right of way (offense).


A fencer scores a point when contacting the opponent’s body with a thrust or cut. This is a dynamic event, because a fencer can win or lose instantly.

Hashimoto, left. ©Japanese Fencing Federation/Augusto Bizzi/FIE

The Japanese foil team fought against its Ukrainian counterpart in the first round. As it was the teams’ first bout in the championships, it was a tension-filled round. The Japanese team emerged victorious with a score of 45-12. In the second round, the Japanese team squared off against the French team, which is ranked second in the world. For the Japanese fencers, winning this bout was the first hurdle they had to clear if they wanted to win a medal. The Japanese team performed to its full potential, and beat the French team 45-26.

In the third round, Hashimoto and the rest of the Japanese team beat the Uzbek team, against whom they had lost by a score of 45-26 at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships 2023 in March.

Hashimoto did not take part in the semifinal against the U.S. team, but supported the team as a bench player. At one point, the Japanese team dominated the round with a score of 25-12, but the U.S. team struck back in the round’s latter stage to reverse the contest with a score of 40-37. The last match was fought between two ace fencers. The Japanese fencer played calmly to tie the game at 43-43, at one point, but eventually the Japanese team was defeated.

During the bout against Hungary. ©Japanese Fencing Federation/Augusto Bizzi/FIE

Following their loss, the Japanese team competed in the 3rd place playoff. Initially, the team members appeared disappointed for having failed to capture the championships. However, they rebooted their minds with a strong determination to go back to Japan with a medal. They faced Hungary and emerged victorious with a score of 45-31, securing the bronze medal.

Hashimoto, left, and his team members. ©Japanese Fencing Federation/Augusto Bizzi/FIE

©Japanese Fencing Federation/Augusto Bizzi/FIE

The same championships were attended by Mai Suda, a first-year student at the College of Sport and Wellness, who took part in the junior women’s epee. Suda won two of the four domestic qualification rounds, while reaching the top four in the remaining two rounds. She represented Japan at the championships after becoming a top-ranked fencer with an overwhelming lead of 40 points over the second-ranked fencer.
Suda won all five individual bouts in the qualifying round of pools, but lost in the first bout in the final tournament. She finished 65th. Suda also joined the team event, but lost in the first round against Ukraine, and was ranked 24th.


Department of Economics, College of Economics
Shoei Hashimoto

This Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships is the last one for me became of the age limit of 20 or younger. I lost in the first round of the individual event because I was not able to achieve my usual level of performance.

After losing, I thought that I could not end like this at this championship, which I had always dreamed of attending and was able to at last take part in. This strong determination helped me get rid of the negative feeling and concentrate on the team event two days after.

As a result, the team was able to win comfortably against second-ranked France and avenge its defeat by Uzbekistan in the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships 2023. But in the semifinal, I was not able to join the match and instead supported the team as a bench player. I did what I could do for Japan, but at the same time I was full of regret. But I took part in the 3rd place playoff to win the bronze, enabling me to finish my last junior championships in good shape.

It was a very happy and enjoyable experience to be able to compete with fencers from around the world together with outstanding Japanese fencers. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way. I am very grateful. I will do my best to fulfill my dream, but I will always need your support.

(Photo: ©Japanese Fencing Federation/Augusto Bizzi/FIE)

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