Weekend Recap – Canadian Men’s Epee Team finishes 4th in World Cup and Top 8 Performance for Pierre Mainville in Wheelchair Fencing
It was a busy weekend in Epee with both the Men's and Women's Senior Team programs in action. The highlight of the weekend is the Canadian Men's Epee Team's 4th place finish at the World Cup in Berne, Switzerland on Sunday.
Their winning run started against Poland, ranked 14th in the World, and a team that had beaten Canada in their two last encounters. Canada came out on top this time, winning 45-38.
The Canadian team of Vincent Pelletier (Quebec, QC), Maxime Brinck-Croteau (Markham, ON), Hugues Boisvert-Simard (Quebec, QC) and Olympian Laurie Shong (Vancouver, BC) kept up the momentum in the round of 16 by defeating Switzerland, ranked 4th in the world, 44-43 in overtime.
"It was a big hometown crowd cheering against us," Said Head Coach, Victor Gantsevich from Richmond, BC, "but we managed to win and upset the host country. I am extremely proud of our athletes."
The win led to the round of 8 where the Canadian squad faced 12th ranked Spain. The match started off slowly with the Canadians behind. Brinck-Croteau replaced Pelletier who was suffering from a calf injury and the Canadians came back to win an exciting 45-43.
It was then off to the semi-finals where the Canadians came up against top ranked France and lost 45-30. In the battle for bronze, Canada fenced 8th ranked Italy and despite leading at various times in the match, lost 45-36 to finish 4th out of 30 countries.
"We are extremely satisfied. It has been too long since we had this level of success as a team. The last time that we finished top 4 in a big competition with all of the countries represented, was in 2008," said athlete Vincent Pelletier. "We have a great chemistry right now."
In Women's Team Epee, Canada lost in the round of 32 at the World Cup in Legnano, Italy to Japan by a score of 45-38 to finish in 18th position.
Top in Senior World Cup Individual Epee were young athletes Leonora MacKinnon (Great Britain) and Marc-Antoine Blais-Belanger (Montreal, QC). MacKinnon was the only athlete to win a Direct Elimination bout in women's Individual epee, and finished in 85th earning an important Olympic qualifying point. Blais-Belanger had the top Canadian finish in Men's World Cup Epee in Berne, finishing in 93rd spot with two Direct Elimination wins.
Canadians were also in action in Wheelchair Fencing at a World Cup in Paris. Top of the results for Canadians was Pierre Mainville (Saint Colomban, QC), who is still on the road to recovery following an operation to his elbow last winter. Mainville, currently ranked 14th in the World, cracked the top 8 in Men's Epee B to finish in 6th place. Mainville also had a top 16 performance in Men's Sabre B finishing 15th overall in that weapon.
The Veterans World Championships in Limoges finished off this weekend with Mark Ballard (Toronto, ON) obtaining the top result for Canada with his bronze medal win on Friday in Men's Epee B.
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