Golden Weekend for Fencers
Canada’s up-and-coming fencers continued to show their strength internationally at competitions this past weekend.
Top of the results is Sarah Filby’s Gold Medal in Women’s Foil at the Junior World Cup in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Filby, who hails from Edina, Manitoba is still Cadet aged (U18) but managed to strike gold in the Junior (U20) World Cup.
Filby came out of the pool round ranked middle of the pack with three wins and two losses. She faced Daniella Sarazar from Costa Rica in her round of 32, winning a resounding 15-4. She then faced fellow Canadian Angela Li (Toronto, ON) and won a close bout 15-12 to move on to the quarter-finals. From there she defeated Brazil’s Ana Toldo 15-9. Filby then faced Yvonne Chart from Great Britain in the semi-finals, winning an exciting 15-14 bout to advance to the Gold final. In the final, Filby fenced 7th Junior World ranked Gabriela Cecchini from Brazil and came out on top by a score of 15-10 to take home Gold for Canada.
It was a good event overall for Canada’s women’s foil fencers. Jenny Zhao (Kanata, ON) finished just off the podium in 5th place, while Zoe Loh (Chapel Hill, NC), Naomi Moindrot-Zilliox (Saint-Lambert, QC), Ariane Bilodeau (Outremont, QC) and Angela Li (Toronto, ON) finished 7th through 10th respectively.
Canada then went on to win a silver medal in the Team competition, losing to Brazil in the final 45-35 to take second place overall.
Canadians were also in action at the North American Cup (NAC) in Richmond, Virginia from October 9-12, 2015. The first to hit the podium was Jane Caulfield, from Edmonton, AB who won silver in Cadet Women’s Foil. Caulfield won silver and fellow Canadians Karina Li (Toronto, ON) and Ying Cao (Toronto, ON) finished 15th and 16th respectively in a field of 156 fencers.
Fares Arfa (Montreal, QC) and Alex Cai (Toronto, ON) also had an outstanding day Friday, with Arfa finishing with a silver medal in Men’s Division 1 Sabre in a field of 146 fencers, while Cai won Gold in Division 2 Men’s Foil in a field of 118 fencers. Also finishing top 16 in men’s Foil Division 2 were David Chen-Li (Toronto, ON) and Malcolm McLeod (Beamsville, ON) finished 13 and 14th respectively.
The Richmond NAC also featured Wheelchair fencing events, and Sylvie Morel (Pincourt, QC) took part in Wheelchair Epee on Friday. She came away with the Gold medal, defeating USA’s Ellen Geddes, 13-5 in the final. The two fencers faced off again on Saturday, but this time in Women’s Foil. It was Geddes turn to come out on top, defeating Morel in the final 15-12, giving Morel a silver medal. Morel added to her medal tally on Sunday by defeating USA’s Vikki Espinosa 15-5 in Wheelchair Sabre to win gold and bring her total medal count to three medals – two gold and one silver in this competition.
Sunday and Monday saw more Canadians with medals and top 16 results.
On Sunday, Hunter Moricz (North Vancouver, BC) finished 9th out of 188 fencers in Cadet Men’s Sabre, Shannon Comerford (Saskatoon, SK) was 13th in Women’s Division 1 women’s Foil, while Nikola Damjanovic (Toronto, ON) finished 12th in Division 1 men’s Epee.
Shirley Wang (Toronto, ON) added to the Canadian medal haul Sunday at the NAC by finishing second in Division 2 Women’s Epee which had a field size of 136 fencers while Marina Guintchitskaia (Edmonton, AB) finished top of the podium, earning Gold in Division 2 Women’s Saber. In the last day of the NAC, Cindy Gao (Toronto, ON) won silver in Cadet Women’s Epee to bring the total medal haul at the Richmond NAC to 9 medals, including 5 gold and 4 silver. Canada also had a total of 16 athletes finish top 16 in their event.
Finally, in the Olympic qualification run, Leonora MacKinnon (Newbury, GB) competed in the Belgrade Women’s Epee Satellite tournament in Belgrade this past weekend, finishing 8th and earning an important Rio qualification point.
Congratulations to all fencers!