Goldie Claims Canada’s Third Fencing Bronze Medal of Pan Am Games
July 23 – Alanna Goldie won Canada’s third bronze medal in fencing and lone medal of the individual foil competition on Tuesday evening, increasing the Canadian fencing team’s medal haul to four.
Goldie’s teammate, Kelleigh Ryan, lost in her table of 16 bout – as did Anthony Prymack on the men’s side – while Max Van Haaster went down to the wire, but ultimately bowed out in the quarter finals.
Goldie, led by coach Paul ApSimon, looked like she was on track for the finals all day, but jet lag and fatigue ultimately caught up to her in her semi-final bout against Colombian Saskia Loretta Van Erven Garcia, who defeated the Canadian by a score of 15-3.
“She knew exactly what I was going to do. She prepared well and her coach prepared her well,” said Goldie after the bout, “I’ve been a bit tired from the jet lag coming back from Moscow. She definitely had the one up on me and she showed it.”
On the women’s side, both Goldie and Ryan we’re dominant in the pool rounds. Goldie went undefeated, running right through all five of her opponents, while Ryan only dropped one bout.
Goldie faced Maria Luisa Doig of Peru in the table of 16, having earned the second overall seed in the table, while Ryan, seeded fourth, faced Brazil’s Ana Beatriz Bulcoa. Goldie defeated Doig handily by a score of 15-2, while Ryan took down Bulcoa, 15-4.
Goldie then drew Elizabeth Hidalgo from Cuba in the table of 8, whom she beat 15-12 in what was a close match – but if that match was “close”, there isn’t a word to describe the bout between Ryan and American Nicole Ross.
Ryan and Ross went toe to toe for three full periods, the lead for either fencer only exceeding one point once, for a few seconds with time running off the clock in the third period, when Ross took an 11-9 lead. Ryan scored a point with seconds to spare, but was unable to score a second touch to tie the score.
Van Erven Garcia was ranked just below Goldie coming out of the pool rounds, setting up what promised to be a terrific bout – unfortunately, Goldie was unable to replicate her strong form from earlier in the day.
“She was a little more physical with me, she had a bit more energy,” Goldie said of her opponent’s win, “She moved me more and was a little stronger on the attack. She definitely was more physically ready than I was. My energy kind of went away. Coming from Moscow is like a six-hour time change, so this is when I should be sleeping – my body is definitely telling me that – so it was hard to real feel the energy going into the bout. Even warming up I felt like I wasn’t quite on my game (going into the semi-final). It felt like it took a lot more work for me to do ‘my game’ than it was this morning.”
Van Haaster and Prymack were equally as dominant in the pool rounds, with Van Haaster going 4-1 and earning the third seed going into direct eliminations, while Prymack won three of his five bouts to grab the seventh seed.
Van Haaster advanced through the table of 16 with a decisive 15-9 win over Chile’s Angelo Justiniano Padilla. Prymack kept his bout close right until the end, but was ultimately stopped in the table of 16 by Chilean Rubén Silva, who beat the Canadian by a score of 15-12.
Van Haaster went up against Brazilian Ghislain Perrier in the quarter finals, in what proved to be one of the most thrilling bouts of the day. The two went back and forth, but Perrier managed to pull away, getting the score to 14-11 and putting Van Haaster on the ropes. The Montrealer refused to go down, though, scoring two straight hard-fought points to reduce the deficit to one.
An already boisterous crowd erupted when the referee awarded the next point to Van Haaster, seemingly tying the score at 14. The celebration was short lived, though, as the point was reversed and instead awarded to Perrier, ultimately ending the bout and Van Haaster’s day.
“It was a tight bout throughout, and the last call that could have gone either way. I was trying not to think about it too much,” said the Montrealer about the video review. “If he gives it to (Perrier) it’s done, so I didn’t want to think about that, and if he gives (the point) to me I still have to put the 15th touch, so I was just trying to concentrate on that 15th touch no matter what he decided.
“Overall I thought I fenced well, considering the whole situation here. We got back from Moscow two days ago…I’m still jet-lagged now! I didn’t sleep too much, and this morning my legs we’re pretty tired, but I overcame all that and fought well – just lost against the Brazilian in my last bout, unfortunately.”
With individual events wrapped up, the spotlight turns back to the sabre fencers, who will be starting off the team events tomorrow morning.