Canada Qualifies Two Epee Fencers for Rio
This weekend, Canada's top Epee Fencers were in Budapest to take part in the Epee Men's and Women's Grand Prix Fencing events, the last qualification events of the year for Epee.
Max Brinck-Croteau (Markham, Ontario) was Canada's top fencer at the event, finishing 43rd after winning all of his poule bouts and advancing directly to the 64's. He lost to Silvio Fernandez from Argentina 13-10 to place 43rd. By advancing to the 64's, he put himself in a guaranteed position to qualify for a Pan Am zone spot as none of his zone competitors made the main draw.
Leonora MacKinnon (Canadian living in England) fenced well but fell just short of the 64's. MacKinnon won her first direct elimination bout 15-13 against Anna Sivkova from Russia, a multiple world cup medalist and former #2 ranked fencer in the world. In her second direct elimination bout, she faced Auriane Mallo from France and unfortunately fell behind at the end to lose 15-11. MacKinnon, though in a solid lead for a Pan Am zone berth, had to wait to see the outcome of her competitors from Cuba and Argentina who made the 64's. Both had to finish top 16 or top 8 to take her spot and thankfully they fell short, resulting in MacKinnon's qualification for Rio!
Canada now has four fencers qualified for nomination to the Olympic Games in Rio – Max Brinck-Croteau and Leonora MacKinnon join foil fencers Maximilien Van Haaster (Montreal, QC) and Eleanor Harvey (Hamilton, ON) who qualified last weekend. Next weekend, Canada hopes to qualify an athlete in Men's and Women's Sabre, as they attend their last qualification event on the FIE calendar in Seoul, Korea.