Surprise medal for Hoffmann

Hoffmann celebrates his qualifying win over Jörg Fiedler Keystone

Swiss fencer Basil Hoffmann has won an unexpected silver medal in the world championships in Nîmes on Monday.

This content was published on October 29, 2001 - 22:35

The 25-year old from Brügg had already stunned the fencing world on Monday afternoon by beating German world number one Jörg Fiedler in the last 16 of the men's épée contest.

On his way to triumph, the world number 78 managed to defeat two other top German fencers. He defeated Daniel Striegel 15-13 in the quarter-finals, before beating Oliver Lücke with the same score in the semis.

Only Italian world number five fencer Paolo Milanoli could stop Hoffmann's winning streak by defeating the Swiss left-hander 6-15.

A dream came true

After the final round, Hoffmann told journalists that he had actually dreamt fighting Milanoli in the finals on Monday. "However, I could not see the winner in my dream," he said.

But according to Hoffmann, winning any medal in a world fencing championships has always been his dream.

Third silver medal

After Daniel Giger won the silver medal in the 1983 world fencing championships in Vienna and Olivier Jaquet fetched the medal in Athens in 1994, Monday's victory was the third time a Swiss fencer won the world championship silver medal in history.

Hoffman, who has never been Swiss fencing champion, fetched the medal for Switzerland only 48 hours after Gianna Hablützel-Bürki won bronze in the women's individual épée category.

The event in Nîmes was also the first world fencing championships, where Switzerland obtained two medals in the singles.

Benjamin Steffen, the twin brother of women's team member Tabea Steffen, finished the world championships in 31st place.

swissinfo with agencies

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