Pierre Mainville Earns Bronze in Épée
Montreal, April 27, 2013 (Sportcom) – In his first competition since the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Pierre Mainville surprised even himself Saturday, at the Wheelchair Fencing Grand Prix in Montreal. The athlete from Saint-Colomban finished his competitive day in the épée class on the third step of podium at the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard.
“I’m very happy. It’s been a bit relaxed for me since the end of the Paralympic Games, so I really had no expectations. As well, the épée isn’t really my sword of choice, and I’ve got some jet lag I’m working through – just like the other European competitors. It’s pretty funny, because this is the first time that’s happened at a competition in Montreal!” laughed the sabre specialist, who for the last several months has been living in Malaga, Spain to train.
“Today I just had some fun with fencers who are also friends – that’s often how it happens. When you enjoy yourself, you can go with the flow and that enables you to achieve great things. Personally, I find that I don’t do well when I’m stressed out or nervous,” analyzed Mainville.
After having lost his two first matches in Category B round robin play, Mainville came back strong with three consecutive victories. “That’s more or less my style. I don’t’ know why, but I have a tough time getting started in round robin play.”
In the qualification round, he bettered Argentina’s Luis Antonio Alarcon 15-7. “He scored 2-0 at the start of the match. I had to calm down a bit and re-think my strategy. I took the time to readjust and find his faults – after the second pause I better understood his game plan.”
Mainville then set about creating an impossible situation for his opponent, “He didn’t have the choice of whether or not to attack, and had to compromise himself to score points. At that point he began to make some mistakes and I was able to get the better of him,” offered Mainville.
In the quarter finals, Mainville was unstoppable against American Ryan Estep, who placed second earlier today in qualifications. The Quebec native had to impose his style on the American athlete by matching his attacks in order to earn a 15-10 victory.
“This is the first time that I’ve been able to beat him! I was happy for myself, but sad for him as well since the épée is his speciality. I had good timing, the right strategy, and it all worked for me. Near the end when I was leading 13-10 I felt him crumble a bit, so the thrusts made contact almost on their own.”
France’s Alim Latrèche – bronze medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games – put an end to Mainville’s winning streak in the semi-final: the score was 15-10. “It was a great match. In my opinion, he is one of the best fencers in active right now. His style has finesse and he reads his opponents well. Whether I win or lose, it’s always a pleasure to compete against him because I learn a lot when I do. Above and beyond winning, what’s important for me is that I progress in my sport.”
In womens’ wheelchair fencing, Sylvie Morel was halted in the quarter final in Class A foil competitions. The Pincourt native was beaten 15-5 by Poland’s Marta Fidrych, a favourite of the main competition grid. Sunday, Pierre Mainville will take on the sabre competition.