Montreal, April 5, 2014 – British Columbian epeeist Dylan French proudly stepped up to the third step of the podium Saturday at the Cadet World Championships in Plodiv, Bulgaria.
“Dylan had a great performance, and we’re extremely proud of what he accomplished today,” confirmed Igor Gantsevich, National Team Manager at these World Championships.
With this bronze medal win, French also earned himself a berth for the Youth Olympic Games to take place in China this Summer.
After a series of five victories and one defeat in the qualifying rounds Friday, the 16 year-old athlete made his way to the elimination rounds, facing Venezuela’s Carlos Mendoza and Israel’s Theo Kletz. Back in action Saturdayfor the round of 32, the Vancouver native bettered Japan’s Akira Komata 15-7, then went on to beat Egypt’s Ahmed El Sayen in the round of 16.
“The Egyptian athlete will be one to watch in future years,” commented Gantsevich. “He’s very strong and played very well today against Dylan. It was a tight match.”
In the quarter finals, French was paired against Sweden’s Linus Islas Flygare and came out the winner with a final score of 15-14. Trailing behind in 7-4 at the beginning of the second bout, French was still trailing slightly by the start of the third. The Canadian epeeist rallied back to a score of 13-13, while a double touch brought the two adversaries to 14-14. In the end, it was French who scored the final and decisive point.
“The Swedish fencer is one of several really strong athletes at this competition. Dylan focused all his energy to beat him,” analyzed Igor Gantsevich
In the semi-finals, American Justin Yoo put an end to French’s progress in a hotly contested match that ended with a score of 15-12. “Dylan was as good as the American fencer; I honestly believe that this match was simply a case of having just a few less chances. A single touch would have totally changed the outcome,” offered Gantsevich.
Hungary’s Patrik Esztergalyos beat Yoo 15-14 for the gold medal, while fellow Hungarian Gergely Toth rounded out the medals with the other, remaining bronze.
Also in action today, Qifan Wang (Vancouver) saw his day come to an end in the round of 32, finishing in 31st place; Sahil Bablani (Toronto) ended with an 82nd place ranking.
In Women’s épée, Alexanne Verret (Quebec) was the highest-ranking Canadian with a 30th place finish. Emma Von Dadelszen (Vancouver) and Cindy Gao (Toronto) also competed and ended their day in 49th and 62nd places.
Jenny Zhao 11th in Women’s Foil
Friday, Ontario’s Jenny Zhao also qualified for the Youth Olympic Games by earning eleventh place in the foil event. The Ottawa native was halted in the round of 16 by Hungary’s Eszter Kalman with a score of 15-12. In previous rounds that day, Zhao had eliminated Hungary’s Ines Sogoyan and Japan’s Maho Nishioka.
Canadians Angela Li (Toronto) and Ariane Bilodeau (Montreal) were ranked 23rd and 25th, respectively.
In Men’s Sabre competitions, David Brown (Toronto), took 60th place; Falan Kennedy (Edmonton) and Hunter Moricz(Vancouver) followed their teammate in 66th and 67th places.
Canadian sabrests Madison Thurgood (Edmonton), Frédérique Bourget (Blainville) and Véronique Lamarre (Blainville) were all halted in the round of 64 and ended in 37th, 43rd and 47th places, respectively.
Foil fencers Sean Grant (Edmonton) 45th, Aidan Heffernan (Ottawa) 53rd, and Daniel Gu (Edmonton) 57th, were also eliminated.
The Cadet World Championships continues Sunday, however no Canadians will be taking part in the Women’s Sabre or Men’s Foil rounds of 32.