Canada Takes Home Six Medals at the 2017 Senior Pan American Fencing Championships

By Caroline Sharp June 19, 2017

The 2017 Senior Pan American Fencing Championships wrapped up in Montreal on Sunday with Canada taking home six medals, two in Individual competition and four in team.

The Canadian Women’s Epee Team of Leonora Mackinnon (Canadian living in the UK), Malinka Hoppe Montanaro (Montreal, QC), Vanessa Lacas-Warrick (Markham, ON) and Brittany Mark-Larkin (Montreal, QC) once again took home hardware from this competition, a silver medal. Canada’s Women’s Epee team won gold at this competition in 2016 by defeating the USA. This time the tables were turned with Canada losing to the USA in the final to take silver. The team showed their mettle however by winning several tough matches against Venezuela and Brazil to make the finals a second year in a row.

Canada’s Men’s Sabre Team also advanced to the finals and faced the USA. Joseph Polossifakis (Laval, QC) Fares Arfa (Laval, QC), Shaul Gordon (Richmond, BC) and Cedric Boutet (Rosemere, QC) defeated Venezuela in the semi-finals by a score of 45-34 to advance to the final where they fell 45-29 to the USA to take the silver medal.

Also advancing to the final and earning a silver medal was Canada’s Women’s Foil Team of Eleanor Harvey (Hamilton, ON), Alanna Goldie (Calgary, AB), Shannon Comerford (Saskatoon, SK) and Kelleigh Ryan (Ottawa, ON). After defeating Brazil 41-32 in the semi-finals, Canada faced the USA and lost 45-26 to take the silver.

The Canadian Men’s Epee Team also made the podium by defeating Team USA for the bronze medal. Canada’s team of Hugues Boisvert-Simard (Quebec, QC), Maxime Brinck-Croteau (Markham, ON), Marc-Antoine Blais-Belanger (Montreal, QC) and Pascal Heidecker (Gatineau, QC) lost their semi-final bout to Venezuela the eventual gold medalists in the event. They then faced Team USA for the bronze medal and came away with the victory by a score of 41-36.

In individual competition earlier in the week, Marissa Ponich (Edmonton, AB) and Joseph Polossifakis (Laval, QC) both took home bronze medals in sabre. Ponich defeated the USA’s Dagmara Wozniak in an exciting 15-14 bout to advance to the semi-finals, where she faced Paola Pliego, the eventual gold medalist for the event from Mexico, and lost 15-6 to earn bronze. Polossifakis followed a similar pathway, winning a 15-14 nail biter in the quarterfinals against Jesus Carvajal from Venezuela to advance to the semis. Polossifakis them faced Eli Dershwitz from the USA and lost 15-10 to finish with a bronze medal.

The event featured over 200 athletes from 25 Pan American countries and was successfully staged at the Centre Pierre Charbonneau in Montreal with support from the Government of Canada, the Province of Quebec and the City of Montreal. Team Canada fencers will now focus on preparations for the Senior World Championships, scheduled to take place in Leipzig, Germany from July 19-29, 2017.

-30-