Top 16 for Maximilien Van Haaster at the Senior World Fencing Championships

By Caroline Sharp July 24, 2018

Canadians continue to have personal bests at the 2018 Senior World Fencing Championships in Wuxi, China. Montreal’s Maximilien Van Haaster finished in 16th place yesterday in the finals of the Men’s Individual Men’s Foil competition.  Rio Olympian Van Haaster won silver last month at the Senior Pan American Fencing Championships and had another breakthrough performance yesterday with his top 16 finish.  Canada finishes the Individual competition at the Senior World Championships with a historic three top 16 performances and an additional two athletes finished in top 32. Ten athletes in total qualified for the top 64’s.

Van Haaster qualified directly for the men’s foil top 64 following poules.  Seeded 49th, his first bout in the main draw was against 16th seed Takahiro Shakine from Japan and Van Haaster came away with a 15-8 win.  He then faced Bin Wu from China in the 32’s and won 15-12 to advance to the top 16’s.  Van Haaster faced the number one seed Alessio Voconi from Italy, and despite a good battle, came away with a 15-12 loss to finish in 16th place overall.

Gabriella Page (Blainville, QC) and Marissa Ponich (Edmonton) were also in action yesterday in the women’s sabre top 64’s.  Ponich lost 15-7 to the number one seed, Olga Kharlan from the Ukraine to finish in 64th overall, while Page lost a close 15-12 to 3rd seed Bianca Pascu from Romania to finish the event in 62nd.

Yesterday was also the start of the Team competitions with Men’s Sabre and Women’s Epee in action.  Canada’s team of Fares Arfa (Laval, QC), Marc Gelinas (Blainville, QC) and Shaul Gordon (Montreal, QC) finished in 10th place.  Team Canada defeated Singapore 45-22 in the 32’s to advance to the top 16’s where they faced Germany and lost 45-37.  Canada was then placed in the 9-16 seeding bouts and won against Japan 45-38 to advance to the 9-10 round.  Canada lost to Romania 45-22 which gave them a final 10th place finish for the event.

Canada’s Women’s Epee Team of Zi Shan (Shirley) Guo (Toronto, ON), Malinka Hoppe Montanaro (Montreal, QC), Leonora MacKinnon (Canadian living in the UK) and Kay Sze (Vancouver, BC) finished in 15th place overall.  Canada defeated Israel 45-40 to advance to the top 16’s where they fenced number one seed China and lost 45-34.  Canada next faced Italy in the 9-16 seeding round and lost 45-24. They lost their next bout to Hungary 45-35 but finished the competition with a win against Spain 45-35 to take 15th place overall.

Team competition continues today with Canada’s Women’s 6th ranked Women’s Foil Team in action.

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