2014 Senior Season Kicks Off in Cancun & San Francisco
The 2014 senior Grand Prix and World Cup season started at the weekend with the Great Britain’s foil fencers competing in tournaments in Cancun, Mexico and San Francisco, USA.
Women’s Foil World Cup, Cancun
Lisa McKenzie and Natalia Sheppard joined a field of 114 in the first women’s foil event of the new season at the weekend. Both progressed through the first round with McKenzie winning two from six fights and Sheppard winning four from five. In the preliminary knockout stages Mpah-Njanga (FRA) beat McKenzie 15-10 but Sheppard made the round of 64 on the second day, beating Nishioka (JPN) 14-9. A strong performance saw her progress to the round of 32 with a 15-7 victory over Sobczak (POL) followed by an impressive 15-10 victory over Zagidullina (RUS). In the round of 16 Sheppard took on Kiefer (USA) but was edged out 9-7 in a tight fight. Arianna Errigo (ITA) solidified her status as the world number 1 by winning the event 15-9 over Lim (KOR) in the gold medal match. The bronze medals went to Gebet (FRA) and M. Kim (KOR).
GB Placings: Sheppard 16th & McKenzie 85th.
Men’s Foil World Cup, San Francisco
Meanwhile, ten of Britain’s men’s foilists started their season at the San Francisco World Cup joining a field of 192. With Davis ranked in the world’s top 16 he automatically qualified for the round of 64. Strong first round performances from Kruse (V6D0) and Rattan (V5D1) meant that they joined him without have to navigate the preliminary direct elimination fights. Cook (V4D2), Halsted (V4D2), Melia (V3D3), Mepstead (V5D1), Tofalides (V2D3) and Peggs (V4D2) all progressed to that preliminary knockout stage but Archer (V2D4) was cut after the first round.
Mepstead’s first round performance earned him a bye through the first of the two-fight preliminaries and was joined there by Halsted who beat Hadler (USA) 15-5, Melia who squeezed past Khazbak (EGY) 15-14, Tofalides who knocked out Schenkel (CAN) 15-7 and Peggs who beat Djitli (ALG) 15-13. Unfortunately Cook’s day was ended by Aiden Ahn (USA) who beat him 15-11. Halsted, Mepstead and Peggs ensured that there were six British fencers involved in the round of 64 beating Sanita (ITA) 15-10, Hatoel (ISR) 14-7 and Nagashima (JPN) 15-5 respectively in their second preliminary matches. S. Cheung (HKG) just beat Melia 15-14 and Pitta (FRA) ended Tofalides tournament with a tight 15-14 victory. Only Kruse and Mepstead made it to the round of 32, beating Yunes (UKR) 8-7 and teammate Rattan 15-10, respectively. Willette (USA) defeated Davis 15-12, Lei (CHN) just beat Halsted 15-14, and Luperi (ITA) overcame Peggs 15-6. British interest in the individual event ended in the next round as Kroeplin (GER) beat Kruse 8-7 and Lefort (FRA) took Mepstead out with a 15-10 victory.
With a number of the top seeds falling before the later rounds, the competition opened up and it was Jeremy Cadot (FRA) who took advantage winning his first senior title with a 15-13 victory over Andrea Baldini (ITA). It was another great foil event for the Italians as Luperi and Nista took the bronze medals.
A field of twenty-two teams took part on the third day of the event and Great Britain started well beating Denmark 45-22 in the round of 32. The team from Japan were too good in the next round and went through with a 45-32 victory. In the placing matches Great Britain lost 45-32 to China, beat Hong Kong 45-36 and then Brazil 45-43 to finish 13th. Italy pipped Russia to the gold medal with a 45-39 victory as Germany beat Japan 44-42 for bronze.
GB Individual Placings: Kruse 23rd, Mepstead 28th, Davis 35th, Rattan 43rd, Peggs 49th, Halsted 50th, Melia 87th, Tofalides 91st, Cook 98th & Archer 151st.
Cadet & Junior Summary
There was a cadet sabre international in Meylan, France at the weekend and another solid performance from Caitlin Maxwell saw her finish sixth in the girl’s tournament as Jessica Corby finished sixteenth. There were top sixteen finishes for Eden Amsalem, Nicholas Howes and George Suddards in the boy’s individual event. In the team competitions Camden Fencing Club took the silver medal in the boy’s event and Truro Fencing Club won the bronze medal in the girl’s event.
The best result at the junior women’s epee world cup in Laupheim, Germany was a top 32 finish for Lydia Stanier. Meanwhile, Tomas Curran Jones made the quarterfinals at the junior men’s epee world cup in Thessaloniki, Greece with teammate Nicholas Beaumont reaching the last sixteen.
The 2014/15 senior season continues next weekend with a Women’s Epee World Cup in Legnano, Italy and a Men’s Epee World Cup in Berne, Switzerland.
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