Wheelchair Fencer Matthieu Hebert Finishes 10th in Men’s Epee A in Rio
Matthieu Hebert (Beauharnois, QC) fell short of qualifying for the quarter-finals in his first Paralympic Games, however he feels satisfied that he achieved his main objectives. Hebert found out that he was making the trip to Brazil a few short weeks ago, qualifying last minute as a result of the Russian exclusion from the Games. Hebert’s bronze medal at the 2016 Pan Am Championships made his selection possible.
“Once I received the official notification that the spot would be mine, it was like Christmas at my house,” stated Hebert.
Hebert came out strong in his first bout against Italian Matteo Betti, ranked 10th in the world. Hebert was leading 4-2 but could not hold on for the win against the experienced Italian, who slowly came back to take it 5-4. Hebert lost his next two bouts 5-1 to Zainulabdeen Al-Madhkhoori from Iraq and Romain Noble from France. He lost 5-2 against Sun Gang from China, ranked second in the world. Hebert was pleased to be able to score two points on him as others went down 5-0.
Hebert was successful in winning his final bout 5-1 against Brazilian Fabio Luiz Damasceno to finish with a 1 win and 4 loss record, and a 10th place overall ranking.
“I pretty well accomplished everything. I wanted to improve my world ranking, have at least one touch against my opponents in poules and win at least one bout. I did that!” Said Hebert. “I would have liked to have also finished in the top 8 but I knew that was going to be very difficult to achieve.”
Hebert has definite plans to continue to fence with a goal of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Games.