Weekend Recap – Top 8 in Women’s Team Foil and Bronze in Men’s Sabre in FIE competition
It was another busy weekend in FIE Senior competition with Women's Foil, Men's Foil, Women's Epee and Men's Sabre in action.
Canadians were in action in Gand, Belgium at the 18th Flemish Open Fencing Championships Satellite tournament. Joseph Polossifakis (Laval, QC) had a strong event, finishing first in his pools and then winning all of his Direct Elimination bouts through to the Semi-finals. He faced Belgian Seppe Van Holsbeke in the Semis and lost his first bout of the tournament, a very close 15-13. Van Holsbeke went on to defeat Venezuelan Eliecer Romero 15-3 in the final to earn gold. Polossifakis' third place finish earns him important points towards Rio Olympic Qualification.
"It was a solid performance for Joseph in Gand," Said National Men's Sabre Coach Benjamin Manano. "He finished the event in third after losing in the semifinal to the eventual winner of the competition. It's an encouraging result in advance of the next World Cup event in Hungary. His wins earned this weekend will give him the confidence he needs."
Also in action this weekend was Women's Foil in Cancun, Mexico taking part in a World Cup after taking two podium spots including Gold in the Cancun Satellite event last weekend. Eleanor Harvey (Hamilton, ON) was the lone Canadian to make it to the 64 tableau in Individual, where she lost to Korean Lim Seungmin 15-8 to finish in 40th place.
The Canadians excelled in team action on Sunday however, finishing in 7th place and further building on their recent success.
"Today was a special day," said National Women's Foil Coach Paul ApSimon (Ottawa, ON). "This team carried over their confidence-building Pan Am Games Gold medal and stepped up their game. The 37-45 match against Russia was great. Canada had the lead up until the second last bout and showed everyone that they have stepped it up a notch this year."
The Russians have medalled in 33 of the last 34 World Cups dating back to November 2010 and were forced to fight to the bitter end in their bout against Canada. Canada's following matches against France and Hungary further confirmed this performance.
"Today's result is a sign of things to come," said ApSimon. "This 7th place equals a Canadian record set at World Championships in 2013 and I am confident this record will fall this year."
Meanwhile in Women's Epee, Leonora MacKinnon (Newbury, GB) participated in a Satellite tournament in Turku Finland. MacKinnon who finished top 8 last weekend in Belgrade fell just short of that mark in Finland, finishing 9th.
Men's Foil was in action in a World Cup in San Jose, California. Still hoping to earn a spot for Rio in Team, the Canadians finished 11th in the event. After losing to France, who were the eventual winners, in their first round, the Canadians went on to defeat Poland but lost to Egypt, before finally rebounding and defeating the Austrians 45-40 to finish 11th.
In Individual Men's Foil, Maximilien Van Haaster (Montreal, QC) had Canada's top result, finishing 66th and earning an important Rio qualification point. Van Haaster, had a strong Pools round finishing first in his pool with a 4 wins and 1 loss record and advanced directly to the second round of elimination, where he unfortunately lost to Ka Long Cheung from Hong Kong 15-10 to finish 66th. The only other athlete to advance to the second round of elimination was Marc-Antoine Brodeur (Boucherville, QC) who won his first Direct Elimination bout 12-11, but lost his second bout to Italian Allesio Foconi 15-7 to finish 95th overall.