Foil Teams Shine During Busy World Cup Weekend
May 4 – Canadian fencers were scattered across the globe over the weekend as World Cup events were held in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Canadian spotlight shone bright on both the men and women’s Foil teams, as the quarter of Shannon Comerford, Eleanor Harvey, Ryan Kelleigh and Jerrica Gu finished ninth in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany. After being beaten 45-28 by the Chinese, they took down Venezuela, 45-15, Hong Kong, 45-33, and Ukraine, 45-36, in that order.
On the men’s side, Étienne Lalonde Turbide, Anthony Prymack and Maximilien Van Haaster and Eli Schenkel finished 10th in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Canadian team entered the competition ranked 14th in the world and beat the Turks 45-38 in the round of 32 before losing to the Italians by a score of 45-21. The men bounced back with a big 45-40 win against 12th ranked Brazil and followed that up with a tightly-contested 45-43 win over Belarus, before falling 45-39 to the Austrians in the 9th place match.
“It was a good result for us, especially our win against Brazil. We’re satisfied with how the day went, even though we would have liked to have beaten the Austrians,” said Van Haaster.
Canadian fencers were also participating in the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup, held as part of Défi sportif AlterGo in Montreal, an important event in the qualification process for Rio 2016. Both Pierre Mainville, who battled through a bout of tendinitis in his right arm, and Matthieu Hébert finished 10th in Epee. Both were stopped in the second round by Russians Alexander Kuzyukov, 15-5, and Artur Yusupov (15-6), respectively. Hébert finished 22nd in the foil category a day earlier. On the women’s side, Ruth Sylvie Morel finished 17th in the Class A foil category.
“I tried to get my shots in, but it showed that it had been awhile that I hadn’t competed,” said Mainville, who had been sidelined by injury over the past couple of weeks.
In Beijing, China, Frédéric Chevarie, Gabriella Page, Meredith Giroux and Marissa Ponich took the 17th spot in women’s team sabre. The Canadians, ranked 16th in the world, were beaten 45-36 by Belarus in the round of 32.
In Johannesbourg, South Africa, the women’s Epee team of Malinka Hoppe, Joanna Guy and Leonora MacKinnon finished in 19th place. Ranked 18th going into the tournament, the Canadians fell to the 15th ranked Belarussians by a score 45-36.
The men’s side was in Paris, competing in an exceptional team event program. Hugues Boisvert-Simard, Vincent Pelletier, Maxime Brinck-Croteau, and Jean Lelion finished in 21st overall. The 21st ranked Canadians were exempt from the first-round, but were eliminated by the 15th ranked Japanese team, 45-32.
In individual Epee, Boisvert-Simard managed to qualify for the round of 32 in Paris with a strong 15-9 win over two-time world champion Nikolai Novosjolov of Estonia, but lost to Israel’s Grigori Beskin by a score of 15-8 to finish 30th.
“After (beating Novoskolov) I had a nice table since there were no more top sixteen guys,” said Boisvert-Simard, who entered the weekend ranked 64th in world, “I wasn’t overconfident, but I wanted to create some opportunities. Beskin has a more passive style than Novosjolov, I tried to engage, but he waited on me and hit back.”
Several teams and individuals will now turn their focus to upcoming Olympic qualifying events and the senior world championships that will be held in Moscow, Russia in mid-July.
With files from www.sportcom.qc.ca