Vincent Pelletier and Joanna Guy Finish top 16
Montréal, August 8, 2013 – Épéeist Vincent Pelletier came within a hair of classifying in the top 10, Thursday, at the Fencing World Championships presented in Budapest, Hungary. Beaten in the round of 16, the Quebecer finished in 11th.
It was the best ever finish in a World Championship event for the Canadian fencer. In the 2011 Worlds, he was able to muster just a 40th place classification. “I’ve always lost super tight first round matches in the World Championships. To finally break the ice and win not one, but two matches to get to the round of 16, it’s really great for me,” Pelletier explained.
Ranked 41st best épéeist in the world, the Quebecois started his day with a victory over the Pole Krysztof Mikolajczak (34th), winning by a score of 15-12. “It was close, but I always had the lead. I always had a cushion, and even though it was never much, I always felt like I was in control. I did a good job of anticipating his moves.”
Pelletier then took on the Hungarian Geza Imre, ranked 32nd in the world. “Even though he’s not necessarily one of the highly rated fencers out there, he’s a guy that’s been around for about 20 years. He’s participated in five Olympic Games and he normally places in the top 16. I think he kept competing this year because the Worlds were in his home country.”
The Quebecer extinguished all hopes of his opponent shining in front of his fans, winning in convincing fashion, 15-6. “I realized early on in the match that he was having difficulty with my style and didn’t know how to counter it,” Pelletier pointed out. “On my end, all my attacks seemed to get through. He never put me in danger.”
It was the German Falk Spautz that would eventually put an end to the Quebecer’s day in the round of 16. Pelletier lost by a score of 15-9. “I could have managed my game better. I tried to force the action instead of just trying to provoke him. This got me into trouble early, and I was trailing 1-6 after the first period.”
“I managed to mount a comeback to 6-9, but he got in another touch after that, and I was never able to get closer from that point on.”
Also in action, Tigran Bajgoric of Vancouver lost in the round of 32. After defeating the Slovenian Jan Golobic by the score of 15-11, the 189th ranked épéeist was narrowly beaten by the Ukrainian Oleg Sokolov (63rd), 15-14.
“I had a pretty substantial lead, but just couldn’t find a way to close him out,” Bajgoric admitted, after taking leads of 12-7 and 13-9 earlier in the contest. “In my head I had already qualified for the round of 16, and I lost my concentration.”
The Canadian épéeist was still fairly pleased with the 24th place classification. “Considering that I didn’t get in a lot of preparation time for this event, I’m pretty happy with the result,” Bajgoric, who now works full time in health safety consulting, pointed out.
Participating in his first senior World Championships, Marc-Antoine Blais-Bélanger, ranked 122nd overall, lost in his first bout of the round of 64. The 18-year-old Montréal-native was faced with the unenviable task of taking on the No.1 ranked épéeist, Venezuelan Ruben Gascon, who won by a score of 10-5.
“It was difficult, but I felt like I was able to stay with him for most of the match. I managed to keep the score close for the first three periods. It wasn’t until the very end that he took the lead. I stuck to my game plan, but it just wasn’t enough to come out on top,” Blais-Bélanger, who finished in 64th, admitted.
“It was my first Worlds and I was here primarily to gain some experience. I wasn’t expecting to qualify for the round of 64, so that was a bonus,” he concluded.
Also competing in épée in Budapest, Quebecer Hugues Boisvert-Simard was eliminated in the round robin on Tuesday. He finished in 178th place.
Women’s épée: Joanna Guy places 15th
Ontarian Joanna Guy was the only Canadian competitor in women’s épee, and she did her country proud, finishing in 15th.
Classed 63rd, the Mississaugan fencer beat the 14th ranked Russian Violetta Kolobova in the first round, before taking out Julia Revesz, 50th, in the round of 32. Taking on the German Britta Heidemann in the final 16, the Ontarian lost by a score of 15-5.
Alexis D. Anna Rudkovska, of Toronto, Vanessa Lacas-Warrick, of Chelsea, Québec, and Britanny Mark-Larkin of Montréal were unable to classify in the top 64. They took the 83rd, 129th, and 137th spots, respectively.
Budapest also played host to the Wheelchair Fencing World Championships. The top Canadian was Ruth Sylvie Morel, who took home a 19th place classification in category A épée.
The athlete from Pincourt finished with a record of three wins and two losses in the round robin before losing 15-3 in the round of 32 to the Pole Marta Fidrych.
On the men’s side, the Quebecois Pierre Mainville finished 20th in category B épée.
The fencer from Saint-Colomban was classified 18th after the round robin, also putting together a mark of three wins and two losses.
Mainville then went on to lose a heartbreaker to the Belorussian Viktar Lemiashkevich, who qualified for the final 16 with a 15-14 victory.
It was the final match for Mainville at the World Championships, after finishing 13th in sabre on Wednesday. As for Ruth Sylvie Morel, she will be in action this Friday, competing in sabre.
Written by Sportcom for Canadian Fencing Federation