Canada’s Fencing Teams earned three medals to end the Senior Pan Am Fencing Championships Friday (April 24).
These championships are an important event in the Olympic qualification process for Rio and teams that eventually qualify, gain entry in Individual and team events at the Games.
First up was Women’s Epee and Canada’s team was composed of Joanna Guy (Mississauga, ON), Malinka Hoppe Montanaro (Montreal), Alexis Rudkovska (Toronto) and Leonora Mackinnon a Canadian who lives in England and was fresh off her bronze medal win in Individual women’s epee.
The team was off to a great start, winning their first bout against Peru. Next they faced Argentina in the quarter-finals, a top team that has defeated them the last three times they faced each other. Not this day however as Canada came out on top. Canada faced the US in the semi-finals and lost 45-28 and unfortunately lost to Cuba for the bronze medal to finish in 4th place.
Canada’s Men’s Foil Team, silver medalists at the 2014 Senior Pan Am Championships were up next. The team of Anthony Prymack (Montreal), Maximilien Van Haaster (Montreal) Eli Schenkel (Jamaica, NY), and Etienne Lalonde-Turbide (Montreal) came out strong, winning their match against Venezuela 45-37 to advance to the semi-finals. They then faced Brazil and lost a heartbreaker 45-40. The team faced Mexico for bronze and won convincingly, 45-26.
Canada’s Women’s Sabre team, a young group composed of Gabriella Page (Blainville, QC), Frederic Chevarie (Sainte-Julie, QC), Marissa Ponich (Edmonton), and Meredith Giroux (Hamilton, ON), finished just off the podium in fourth place. They defeated Cuba 45-38 to advance to the semi-finals where they lost to Mexico 45-33. They then lost a heartbreaker 45-39 to Venezuela in the Bronze final.
Canada’s Men’s Epee team of Vincent Pelletier (Quebec), Hugues Boisvert-Simard (Quebec), Jean Lelion (Montreal) and Leland Guillemin (Saskatoon, SK), won silver in 2014 but finished in a disappointing sixth place.
Canada finished off the team competition on a high note with two silver medals, one in Women’s Foil and the other in Men’s Sabre.
Representing Canada in women’s foil were Eleanor Harvey (Hamilton, ON), Kelleigh Ryan (Ottawa), Alanna Goldie (Calgary) and Shannon Comerford (Saskatoon, SK). The team started strong, defeating Chili 45-18 in their first bout. Next they faced Brazil in the quarter-final match and won 45-36 to send them to the final. They fenced the US for gold but lost 41-30 to take silver.
Canada’s Men’s Sabre Team had a similar day. The team of Joseph Polossifakis (Laval, QC), Remi Bedard-Couture(Montreal), Shaul Gordon (Richmond, BC) and Mark Peros (Toronto) breezed to the final with convincing victories against Puerto Rico (45-25) and Venezuela (45-26). Canada faced the US in the final and fought to the end, losing 45-37 to take silver.
Canada leaves the Senior Pan Am Fencing Championships with five medals – three silver and two bronze, including two in Individual in Men’s and Women’s Epee and three in team events for Men’s Foil, Women’s Foil and Men’s Sabre. Canada also had two teams finish just off the podium in 4th place, and ten athletes finish top eight in Individual.