Hugues Boisvert-Simard Wins Pan American Bronze in Men’s Individual Epee Competition
July 22 – Hugues Boisvert-Simard earned Canada its third fencing medal in two days with his dominant performance in the individual men’s epee competition at the Pan Am Games on Tuesday.
Boisvert-Simard only lost two of his eight bouts on the day; the first but a blip on the radar, a loss in the pool round. The second, unfortunately, was in the semi-finals against Argentina’s Jose Dominguez, by a final score of 15-11.
“I’m pretty happy,” said Boisvert-Simard. “I needed two more wins to get the gold, but fencing tournaments are always so different. You can medal at one and lose in your first match in the next one, so all in all the medal feels pretty good.”
Boisvert-Simard and teammate Maxime Brinck-Croteau, led by national team coach Victor Gantsevich, both qualified for the table of 16, with Boisvert-Simard dominating the pool rounds to take the number one seed going into the direct elimination rounds. Boisvert-Simard beat his table of 16 opponent, Yunior Reytor of Cuba, by a score of 15-10, while Brinck-Croteau was knocked out of the competition by second-seeded Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela.
Boisvert-Simard then took on Jhon Edison Rodriguez Quedevo in the quarter-finals. The Quebec City native was solid throughout, never relinquishing his lead and pulling out a 15-10 victory to move on to the semi-finals.
His semi-final opponent, Argentinian Jose Dominguez, went into the direct eliminations in an “underdog” role, having seeded 13th coming out of the pool rounds after winning only two of his five bouts. He solved whatever had been plaguing him, though, as he ran through two opponents to earn his berth in the semis.
The two engaged in an intense battle that had the crowd hushed and on the edge of their seats, before uncoiling to let out a roar with each point Boisvert-Simard earned.
“Most of the time, when I’ve gotten to final strips like this, it’s always in front of other fencers,” he said, “So this was a really special experience. It was really fun, all of these people – many of them who have no clue what fencing is – they still find some time in their day to come and cheer us on. It’s just too bad I couldn’t give them a better show, but I tried!”
On the women’s side, Leonora Mackinnon and Malinka Hoppe Montanaro both bowed out of the competition in the table of 16.
Both Mackinnon and Hoppe Montanaro started off their pool rounds slowly; however both were able to turn up the intensity as the bouts went on. Mackinnon won two of her five pool bouts, and while Hoppe Montanaro only won once, all her bouts came down to the wire and could have gone either way.
In the table of 16, Mackinnon squared off against American Katharine Holmes, while Hoppe Montanaro faced Cuba’s Yamrika Rodriguez. The two Canadians kept their bouts close throughout the early stages. Rodriguez ultimately pulled away from Hoppe, winning the bout by a final score of 15-8, while Mackinnon ran out of time at the end and fell 14-12.
“I’m really disappointed, because it didn’t really go the way I thought it was going to go, my mind wasn’t really there…I was there, but my mind was somewhere else,” said Hoppe Montanaro. "I couldn’t find my focus or find solutions, and I felt like there was a lot of pressure, what with all the Canadians supporting me and I wasn’t doing well.
“I’m going to go back to the village and hopefully not make the same mistakes during the team event (Friday), because it’s not done yet. I need to use this as a positive thing and I need to focus on my bout and not worry about all the people that are around me.”
The final individual competition, foil, goes tomorrow morning, before the team events get started on Thursday.