“We can compete with the world’s best”
Montréal, June 20, 2013 – Canada’s top foil fencers put together a terrific performance, Wednesday, at the Pan-American Fencing Championships presented in Cartagena, Colombia, walking away with an impressive second place finish.
The team comprised of Shannon Comerford (Saskatoon), Alanna Goldie (Calgary), Eleanor Harvey (Hamilton), and Kelleigh Ryan (Ottawa), suffered just one loss on the day, losing to the Americans 38-36 in the finals.
“Although the final result was disappointing, this is very encouraging for team Canada, Goldie pointed out. We finished 4th in the Junior World Championships team event in April, and we made two top 8 results in the world cup events. This year we showed the fencing world that we can compete with the world’s best.”
“Every member of the US team has won a world championship. This result will give us the confidence to progress to the next level,” Goldie concluded.
National foil fencing coach Paul ApSimon was satisfied with how the tournament unfolded:
“Today’s final vs USA was a disappointing result in the moment but also a confirmation that this young team is moving in the right direction. The US team consisted of two top 8 fencers in the world rankings (Lee Kiefer and Nzingha Prescod) and the third member Margaret Lu was a member of the junior world champion team in Moscow in 2012.
“These three USA fencers swept the individual podium along with Canadian Alanna Goldie (bronze),” ApSimon added.
In their first two outings, the 10th ranked Canadian contingent took care of business in an expedited fashion, taking out the Colombians, classed 26th by a score of 45-29 in the quarterfinals, before eliminating the 16th ranked Mexicans in the semifinals, 45-27.
In the bronze medal match, the Venezuelans beat the Mexicans 42-31.
On the men’s side, the Canadian swordsmen had a rough go of it, Wednesday. Beaten in the quarterfinals by the Chileans Marc-Antoine Blais-Bélanger, Hugues Boisvert-Simard, Maxime Brinck-Croteau and Vincent Pelletier, the side eventually settled for a 5th place finish.
“It’s a real letdown for us, Pelletier (Québec) admitted. I think that was the first time we’d ever missed out on the podium at the Pan-American Championships.”
The Canadians, classed 13th in the international standings, got off to a tough start, losing their opener to the lower ranked Chileans (31st) by a score of 45-41.
They rebounded in their final two matches, beating the Colombians 45-30 and the Mexicans 45-38. In the gold medal final, the Venezuelans took down the Americans 45-35. The Cubans got the better of the Chileans in the battle for 3rd place.
The Pan-American Championships will continue Thursday in Cartagena, with team competitions in women’s sabre and men’s foil fencing.
The Quebecers Sandra Sassine and Gabriella Page as well as the Albertan Marissa Ponich and the Ontarian Heather Shacker will draw for their country in sabre, while the Quebecers Maximilien Van Haaster, Étienne Lalonde Turbide and Anthony Prymack will join forces with the Albertan Rory Chisholm in foil fencing.