Canadian Sabreurs Just Off Podium
Montreal, April 10, 2014 – Canadian sabreurs Farès Arfa, Pascal Lambert and Shaul Gordon finished just off the podium in the team competition at the Junior/Cadet World Championships, Thursday, after the American team surpassed them in the bronze medal round.
Team Canada won their first match 5-4, but lost their thin advantage in the second series and were not able to regain their winning ways; the American team won the match 45-27.
“They just lost confidence in their abilities,” commented Igor Gantsevich, National Team Manager at these World Championships. The Canuck threesome went up against an experienced American team; “They (the Americans) have more international experience – especially two of the three. They were generally more confident during the match and took more risks, which was what eventually gave them the win. Our sabreurs haven’t had a lot of exposure to this type of match where a World Championships medal was on the line,” he concluded.
Wednesday in the round of 32, Arfa (Laval), Lambert (Epiphanie), and Gordon (Vancouver) easily defeated the Australian Team with a score of 45-22. In the round of 16 on Thursday, they beat out South Korea’s team 45-43. “It wasn’t easy, since at each change of fencer there was only one point between the teams. The Korean team was very strong, but our fencers stayed focused. It was a good team effort and that’s what won them the match,” analyzed Gantsevich.
Canada’s sabre fencers then eliminated the Ukrainian team 45-37, a team whose fencers included international medallists. “Team Canada had a great start and were leading by 15 points at one point. Team Ukraine came back from behind, but we were able to regroup and win it. Those are two important victories – the team fenced exceptionally in those two matches,” Gantsevich stated with pride.
Team Italy – men’s favourites in Plovdiv – halted the Canadians in the semi-finals with a score of 45-36. “We did not have a good start in that match. After three fencer changes we were already behind by nine points and weren’t able to come back from it.” The Italian fencers went on to win gold against Team Russia with a score of 45-41.
Canadian foilists were also fencing Thursday; after a pass into the round of 32 Wednesday, Alanna Goldie (Calgary), Jerrica Gu (Edmonton), and Eleanor Harvey (Toronto) defeated Team Germany 45-37. Team Russia – competition favourites in the women’s division who went on to win silver – put a stop to their progress with a score of 45-29, which left Goldie, Gu, and Harvey in eighth place. “It’s a disappointment, since they wanted to be on the podium, but they should also be proud of what they have accomplished over the past five years,” explained Gantsevich.
Two of Team Canada’s Junior epeeists were also in action in Plovdiv.
Marc-Antoine Blais-Bélanger (Montreal), Dylan French (Vancouver), and Kerr Hutchison (Kingston) reached the round of 16 on the men’s side. Exempted from the round of 64, they then defeated the Norwegians with a score of 43-30; Friday, Team Canada’s epeeists will face Japan.
In women’s fencing, Kathleen Hannah Beach (Toronto), Vanessa Lacas-Warrick (Chelsea), and Andrée-Anne Paquet (Blainville) were stopped in the round of 32. Beaten 45-35 by Team Finland, the women’s epeeists finished in 17th place.
Written by Sportcom for the Canadian Fencing Federation