Canada’s Top Sabre and Wheelchair Fencers Compete Around the World

By Caroline Sharp May 27, 2019

Canada’s top men’s and women’s Sabre athletes competed in the Sabre Grand Prix in Moscow, Russia this past weekend, a high valued tournament in the Olympic qualification process for fencing.

Laval’s Joseph Polossifakis was Canada’s top placer, finishing in 21st in a competition with over 175 fencers. Polossifakis finished with five wins and no losses in poules to advance directly to the top 64 main draw.  There he faced Ivan Ilyin from Russia and won an exciting 15-14 to advance to the top 32’s.  He faced another Russian, Kamil Ibragimov and lost 15-10 to take 21st place overall.

Canada had two other fencers advance to the 64’s.  Shaul Gordon (Montreal, QC) had four wins and 2 losses in poules, and then won his elimination bout.  Despite a good effort, Gordon lost to Bolade Apithy from France 15-12 to finish in 51st place.  Apithy went on to take gold in the competition.  Fares Arfa (Montreal, QC) had three wins and two losses in poules, and then battled through two elimination bouts to advance to the 64’s.  Arfa faced Luca Curatoli from Italy, the eventual bronze medalist from the event, and lost 15-8 to finish in 60th place overall.  Canada’s top female fencer at the Sabre Grand Prix was Marissa Ponich who finished in 78th place.

Canada’s Senior Wheelchair fencers competed at a World Cup in Sao Paolo, Brazil this past weekend as part of Paralympic qualification. Matthieu Hebert (Beauharnois, QC) and Pierre Mainville (St-Colomban, QC) had Canada’s top results, both finishing 16th in Men’s Sabre A and Men’s Sabre B respectively.  The Men’s Epee Senior Team of Matthieu Hebert, Pierre Mainville, Ryan Rousell and Doug Brecht finished in 11th place.

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