“My best competition ever” – Joseph Polossifakis
Montréal, April 27, 2013 (Sportcom) – Sabre athlete Joseph Polossifakis was the only Canadian to qualify for the round of 64 at the Athens World Cup presented in Greece, Saturday. He would prove that it was no fluke, finishing with a more than respectable 8th place classification.
The Montrealer had once before placed this high, finishing 8th in a Grand Prix tournament in Poland, but this was by far the best competition he’s ever taken on, and beaten.
In his first round match he easily defeated the Spaniard Sergio Escudero, a young fencer who was perfect yesterday in the round robin, winning by a score of 15-5. “I had an answer for everything, I felt really good out there,” the current 21st ranked sabreur in the FIE standings explained.
He then took on a series of tough opponents. His first contest was against the #3 fencer in the world (ex-no.1), Russian Alexey Yakimenko, who he edged out 15-13. “It was my best win ever, he indicated. It was extremely intense. Since I have a Greek last name the whole crowd was behind me, more so due to the fact that no Greek was left in the competition. It was a really cool experience.”
Polossifakis didn’t have a lot of time to savour his victory, since he had to return to the strip to take on the Korean Jungwhan Kim, gold medalist at the London Olympic Games, and current 14th sabreur in the world. It was another tight battle. The two athletes were locked in a 12-12 tie before the Quebecer scored the last three points.
“I’m happy that I didn’t get too high after my earlier victory and that I stayed focused on the task at hand.”
In the quarterfinals, he went up against another Korean, this time the 5th ranked sabreur, Bongil Gu. He would eventually succumb to defeat by a score of 15-12. “I made a couple of little technical errors in this duel, but all in all I’m very content with my day, he concluded. I gained a lot of confidence today, realizing that I can compete with the best sabreurs out there. I was very calm and composed throughout the tournament. I didn’t let anything get to me.”
He’ll take part Sunday in the team competition alongside teammates Vincent Couturier and Mark Peros. Rémi Bédard-Couture will be available as a substitute. Canada will begin the day against the Malaysian team. If they prove victorious, they’ll go on to cross sabres with the Germans.