Tristan Tulen defends the title at the 60th "White Bear of Berlin"
The list of title defenders is short at the "White Bear". Dutchman Tristan Tulen succeeds in doing what only four fencers before him have managed so far: Taking home the coveted porcelain trophy from KPM twice in a row. Among the series winners are such illustrious names as Elmar Borrmann and Jörg Fiedler - and now also: Tristan Tulen.
On the first day of competition of the 60th "White Bear of Berlin" with 220 fencers from 28 nations, the German fencers in particular had a good starting position for the final day. The best chances for the finals in the historic Kuppelsaal were the current German Vice-Champion Rico Braun (FC Tauberbischofsheim) and Lukas Bellmann (TSV Bayer Leverkusen), who shared the first place in the seedings for the subsequent knockout rounds after the preliminary rounds.
But also last year's winner Tristan Tulen (NED) and the 2nd seeded Dane Patrick Jorgensen (World Championships 3rd 2015 / European Team Championships 2nd 2019) were still promising in the race after the first day. So were the German prospects Richard Schmidt (FC Tauberbischofsheim) and the German champion Nikolaus Bodoczi (FC Offenbach).
The gala final in the historic Kuppelsaal in the Olympiapark, which was well filled with more than 500 spectators, was international after all. Tulen's semi-final opponent Dzianis Paulouski from Belarus has only just outgrown the U23s, but already has a European Cup victory in the seniors to his name. It was not enough against Tulen, 15:6 Paulouski had to admit defeat to the Dutchman.
In the second semi-final Lukas Bellmann from TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen kept the German colours high. In a thrilling duel against Patrick Jorgensen from Denmark, the atmosphere in the Kuppelsaal was really upbeat. "Rhythmic clapping is rather unusual in fencing, but it gave me an incredible boost," said the leader of the German rankings after the bout. Nevertheless, it was the Dane who rejoiced in the end, with Patrick Jorgensen advancing to the final against Tristan Tulen with a score of 15:12.
With the World Championship 3rd of 2015, Jorgensen and the winner of the 59th "White Bear" 2019, Tulen, the two top seeded fencers faced each other in the final. And at first it was the expected hard-fought battle of equals. It was not until the second third of the bout that Tulen gained the upper hand and ultimately decided the final of the 60th "White Bear of Berlin" clearly in his favour with a score of 15:9.
The EFC U23 classification was won by Belgian Neisser Loyola in 5th place. As in the previous year, Michael Behrendt of the Fencing Centre Berlin e.V. was the best Berliner and thus a special prize winner of the Berlin Sports Federation. Tristan Tulen could write Berlin sports history for good next year. There has never been a hat-trick of victories in the history of the "White Bear" so far.
From the organisers' point of view, the 60th "White Bear of Berlin" was an all-round successful fencing event, especially the combination with the 13th "Little White Bear of Berlin" on Sunday. Athletes and spectators gave positive feedback all around, helpers and organisers proved to be a well-coordinated team, greatly supported by Sportmetropole Berlin, premium partner Eventtation GmbH & Co. KG, Feuersozietät Berlin-Brandenburg AG and many other sponsors.
Senate reception in the Berlin Bärensaal
On the eve of the 60th "White Bear of Berlin", the Senate Department for the Interior and Sport invited guests to a Senate reception in the Berlin Bärensaal on the occasion of the anniversary tournament. State Secretary Aleksander Dzembritzki welcomed more than 50 guests, including DFB President Claudia Bokel, the entire board of the Berlin Fencing Association, representatives of the 15 Berlin fencing clubs, the State Sports Association and the German Disabled Sports Association. Show fencing, among others between Richard Schmidt (FC TBB) and pentathlon relay world champion Alexander Nobis (FZB/ Wasserfreunde Spandau), commented by epee national coach Mario Böttcher, provided a fitting setting.
Photos: Mirko Seifert