• Kyodo

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Fencer Kazuyasu Minobe won an all-Japanese men’s final at the epee World Cup in Talinn on Saturday, beating 23-year-old compatriot Satoru Uyama.

Minobe, ranked 15th in the world, defeated French No. 1 Grumier Gauthier in the semifinals before a comprehensive 15-8 win in the final. It is the first time for Japanese fencer to win an individual title in epee, according to the Japan Fencing Federation.

“I’m really pleased to win the gold medal at a high-level competition like the World Cup,” said the 28-year-old lefty via the JFE.

Minobe was third in the Asian Championships in Singapore last year and represented Japan at last year’s Asian Games as well as July’s world championships.

Following a silver-medal winning performance from Yuki Ota in men’s foil at the London Olympics, the JFE acted to develop its competitors in foil, epee and sabre, a decision that has paid dividends with Uyama also reaching the final in an event dominated by Europeans.

“The medal counts for much. Our men’s epee team have the strongest members we’ve had in our history,” assistant development coach Koji Emura said.

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