World No. 1 Race Imboden will return to defend his 2018 title at the Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix Anaheim. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi.
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The best men’s and women’s foil fencers will be in action this weekend as more than 190 men and 140 women go for gold at the Absolute Fencing Gear® FIE Grand Prix Anaheim from Friday through Sunday.
The three-day tournament is only three Grand Prix foil tournaments held annually and the only one to take place in North or South America.
Competition will be streamed live beginning with the table of 64 at www.youtube.com/fievideo. The medal rounds will be available worldwide at www.olympicchannel.com and on its mobile apps. In the U.S., no TV subscription is required to watch the live stream for this event.
Competition will include at least 20 men and 20 women representing Team USA and athletes from 50 nations, including Russia, Korea, Brazil, China, Italy, Tunisia and more.
Friday, March 15
10 a.m.: Men's Pools and Preliminary Rounds
(Top 16 seeds exempt)
Saturday, March 16
10 a.m.: Women's Pools and Preliminary Rounds
(Top 16 seeds exempt)
Sunday, March 17
8:30 a.m. Table of 64 - 8
6:15 p.m. Semi and Final Rounds
Both the men’s and women’s fields feature multiple world and Olympic Champions, including Rio Olympic gold medalists Inna Deriglazova (RUS) and Daniele Garozzo (ITA) and London Olympic Champion Elisa Di Francisca (ITA). Reigning Senior World Champions Alessio Foconi (ITA) and Alice Volpi (ITA) will each enter the tournament as the No. 2 seeds in the men’s and women’s events, respectively.
Among Team USA’s 40+ entrants in the competition are at least 12 fencers who hail from California and / or currently train in the Golden State, including World No. 1 Race Imboden – a Brooklyn native and 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist who relocated to Orange County to train in 2016. Two of Imboden’s teammates on the 2016 Olympic team – San Francisco natives Alexander Massialas and Gerek Meinhardt – also are past Senior World medalists aiming for the podium this weekend.
Imboden won his first Grand Prix gold in Anaheim in 2018 while Massialas earned the silver when this tournament was held in Long Beach in 2016.
Nineteen-year-old Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.) is another California standout. The 2018 Junior World Champion is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation and is jostling with 2013 Senior World Champion Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.) who sits in fifth to see who will earn a berth on the 2019 Senior World Team.
In the women’s event, World No. 3 Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) has medaled at two events this season and earned a top-eight result in Cairo earlier this month. Kiefer won bronze at the Anaheim Grand Prix in 2018 and earned the World No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career with a gold medal win in Long Beach in 2017.
Both of Kiefer’s teammates on the squad that won gold at the 2018 Senior World Championships – Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) and Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) will be competing in Anaheim as well. A London Olympian, Ross won silver at the 2016 Torino Grand Prix and is aiming for her first World Cup circuit medal finish on U.S. soil. Lu placed in the top eight in Long Beach in 2017 and is seeking her first World Cup podium. Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.) shook up the field in Cairo with her sixth place finish that put the five-time Junior World medalist in contention for her first Senior World Team.
The complete roster of U.S. entrants is as follows:
*Indicates top-16 World Ranking and exemption from preliminary rounds on Friday and Saturday.
U.S. Men’s Entrants
Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)
Andrew Chung (Yorba Linda, Calif.)
Chase Emmer (Morristown, N.J.)
Ethan Gassner (San Francisco, Calif.)
Stuart Holmes (Centereach, N.Y.)
*Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Shane Iverson (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
Brian Kaneshige (Hoboken, N.J.)
Sidarth Kumbla (San Jose, Calif.)
Joseph Marino (Rockville Centre, N.Y.)
*Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Adam Mathieu (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
*Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
Gregory Mitberg (Beaverton, Ore.)
Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.)
Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla.)
Joon Paik (Norwood, N.J.)
Philip Shin (New York City, N.Y.)
Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)
U.S. Women’s Entrants
Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Sabrina Cho (Hillsborough, Calif.)
Stefani Deschner (Versailles, Ky.)
Delphine DeVore (Westport, Conn.)
*Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
Justina Lam (Cherry Hill, N.J.)
Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
Ever Marinelli (San Francisco, Calif.)
Sara Martos (El Cerrito, Calif.)
Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)
*Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)
Lauren Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y.)
Helen Tan (Coppell, Texas)
May Tieu (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.)
Maia Weintraub (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Madison Zeiss (Culver City, Calif.)
Rachel Zhang (Winchester, Mass.)
Emme Zhou (Lexington, Mass.)