Discord yesterday at the World Fencing Championship in Catania. During the group stage of the women's fencing match, Tunisian Sarra Besbes was matched with Israeli Noam Mills . The Tunisian federation has asked its athletes not to face Israeli opponents, but if [Besbes] would not have appeared she would have been disqualified. So she ascended the platform and stood still, suffering the five thrusts that caused her defeat 5 -0. This defeat also forced her to face a stronger athlete in the next round, China's Li Na.
The judges could not take action against the anomalous behavior of Besbes, since she was in fact defeated. Besbes felt very bad for what happened, according to the people close to her, also because' this defeat has affected her world [ranking?] and at the end of the challenge she cried. Besbes did not want this incident to come out in the media. Among other things, the 22 year-old Tunisian, who is from a family of fencers, is not Muslim and trains in Paris . Also in Paris last year, the two athletes. Besbes and Mills, competed at the World Cup.
It is not in any case the first episode of this kind at the World Championships in Catania. On Sunday the Iranian fencer Sayyad Ghambari Hamad was up against Israeli Tomer Or in a qualifying match and he withdrew.
(h/t CHA via Wafa)