Bronze for Maximilien Van Haaster

By admin June 18, 2013

Montreal, June 18, 2013 (Sportcom) – Canadian foil specialist Maximilien Van Haaster donned a bronze medal on the podium Monday night, at the Pan-American Fencing Championships in Cartagena, Columbia.

Despite a rough start in the pool rounds marked by two wins and three defeats, the Montreal native rallied back in the elimination round. In the round robins, the 32nd-ranked fencer easily defeated Venezuela’s Cesar Bru (139th internationally) with a score of 15-2.

A duel between teammates then ensued in the Round of 16, where Van Haaster faced Étienne Lalonde Turbide, ranked 33rd internationally. Victory went to the former, with a final score of 15-8.

In the quarter finals, Van Haaster crossed swords with American Alexander Massialas – currently ranked 8th by the FIE – and bettered him with a 15-12 outcome, guaranteeing a podium finish for the Quebecois athlete. Despite an impending 21st birthday celebration Wednesday, the semi-final would prove to be no present as Van Haaster’s progress was halted by American Gerek Meinhardt, whose ranking of 4th in the world internationally was reinforced with a 15-11 win.

“I’m happy with my results today, but of course I would have liked to have been able to reach the finals and win,” admitted Van Haaster, who earned seventh place at the 2012 Pan-American Championships.

Meinhardt went on the win the final against fellow American Race Imboden; Miles Chamley-Watson, also from the United States of America, also took home bronze.

Eliminated by Van Haaster in the Round if 16, Quebec’s Étienne Lalonde Turbide took ninth place.

Both halted in the round robins, Quebec’s Anthony Prymack and Alberta’s Rory Chisholm finished 21st and 28th, respectively.

Sandra Sassine Earns Sixth

In women’s sabre competitions, Sandra Sassine earned the highest Canadian honours with a sixth place finish. The 33 year-old athlete was eliminated in the quarter finals by American Dagmara Wozniak (6th internationally) in a final score of 15-10.

Sassine, whose international ranking at present is 28th, had previously defeated Puerto Rico’s Angelica Camacho 15-5 and Cuba’s Yaritza Goulet Quiala 15-8.

“It was a good competition today, despite my defeat in the quarter finals,” assessed the Quebec resident, who earned bronze in 2012.

Gabriella Page saw an end to her competition with elimination in the quarter finals and an eighth place finish. The Quebec fencer was bested 15-4 by eventual gold medallist, American Mariel Zagunis – 2nd internationally.

In the first two elimination rounds, Page, from Blainville (Quebec) defeated the Dominican Republic’s Melody Rochell Martinez de Los Santos, as well as El Salvador’s Fatima Tobar.

Also in action were Alberta’s Marissa Ponich and Ontario’s Heather Shacker, who both were defeated in the round robins. Edmonton’s Ponich finished 26th, while Shacker from Toronto finished the day in 32rd place.

The Pan-American Championships continue Tuesday; sabre specialists Joseph Polossifakis, Philippe Beaudry, Shaul Gordon and Mark Peros, as well as épéeists Joanna Guy, Daria Jorquera-Palmer, Vanessa Lacas-Warrick and Alexis D. Anna Rudkovak will take up their swords.

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Written by: Émilie Bouchard Labonté (
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