By Satya Gunput
Following the Fédération Internationale d’Escrime (FIE) updating the official end of season world rankings, the young Mauritian épéiste Satya Gunput is now ranked 66th in the world. This marks a rapid rise for the 20 year old, who, in October 2011, was ranked 815th following his performance in his début World Championships.He is currently the 6th highest ranked African fencer in the world and one of the youngest in the top 100. He now finds himself ranked above some of the world’s best and most experienced fencers, including Olympic medalists and prominent members of traditional fencing powerhouses such as Hungary and France. Master Keszler, Satya’s Hungarian coach, commented that this was ‘very good news,’ but now ‘the next stage is coming.’ This achievement follows a successful first season on the Senior World Circuit. Highlights included the young Mauritian finishing two places outside the Olympic qualifying standard and achieving a quarter-final finish at the African Championships in Casablanca; in the process knocking out more than half of the Tunisian team – one of the strongest African nations. His run at the Championships was ended by the experienced Senegalese fencer, Alexandre Bouzaid who will compete at the Olympics in London as one of the top fencers in the World. Next in line for this talented athlete is a period of rest to recover, before picking up the gauntlet again in a couple of months to start another international season, which will culminate in Budapest for the World Championships 2013. He currently fences under a special licence from the FIE as a Mauritian citizen. His objective is wear Mauritian colours and have MRI on his kit when he fences internationally. He is waiting for the Mauritius Olympic Committee to give the official green light to allow him to do so. His ambition is to be among the first Africans and the first Mauritian to reach a medal position in the top competitions of this great Olympic sport.
* Published in print edition on 29 June 2012