Wheelchair Fencer Pierre Mainville Finishes Top 8 in Rio
Wheelchair Fencer Pierre Mainville (St-Colomban, QC) fell just short of the medal round today in the Men’s Sabre B competition at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, losing his quarter-final bout 15-6 to Greece’s Panagiotis Triantafyllou, ranked third in the world, to finish in 8th place overall.
“The Greek athlete was good. I was also good but I wasn’t able to stick with my game plan. I wasn’t able to put my moves together and he kept doing the same move,” said Mainville after his final bout.
Mainville, ranked 10th in the world, started the day off slowly losing to Triantafyllou in pool play 5-1 in his first bout. He then went on to be defeated by China’s Yanke Feng, 5-2. His third bout against Germany’s Cheema Balwinder went much better, winning that bout a resounding 5-0. Mainville lost his final poule bout 5-1 to Poland’s Adrian Castro to finish with a record of 1 win and 3 losses, just enough to advance him to the quarter-finals as the 8th ranked athlete.
Stated Mainville on his performance in poules, “At the beginning it was bad because I was very nervous and I couldn’t execute my fencing style. I tried to think of my family, think of being happy and just happy to be here, and then after that my actions improved and I got through to the quarterfinals.”
Rio is Mainville’s third Paralympic Games. He finished 7th in London 2012 in Men’s Sabre B and 9th in Men’s Epee B. In Beijing 2008, he was 15th in Sabre and 9th in Men’s Epee.
Mainville missed part of last season as he was recovering from surgery. He qualified for Rio by winning gold in Sabre B at the Pan Am Championships in May 2016.
“What’s important is the path that we took to get here and sometimes we make it all the way until the end and today I wasn’t able to get there,” noted Mainville, “But I’m still really happy with what I was able to do until that point.”
At 43, the Rio Games are likely Mainville’s last Paralympic Games. He will continue to train and compete for a short while longer to assist other athletes in the program.
Canada’s Matthieu Hebert will be in action in Epee Men’s A tomorrow, September 13th, with his competition starting at 9:00 am Rio time against Italy’s Matteo Betti.