Shelby Jensen, Ellen Geddes and Terry Hayes became the first U.S. women's team to compete in a team event at the Paralympic Games since 2004.
(Tokyo, Japan) – Team USA secured a seventh-place finish in team women’s epee on Friday at the Paralympic Games.
The opening day of team events in Tokyo, the United States was represented by first-time Paralympians Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah / Valkyrie Fencing Club), Ellen Geddes (Johnston, S.C.) and Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla. / Southwest Florida Fencing Academy) with the trio becoming the first U.S. women’s team to compete at the Games since 2004.
“It definitely was exciting,” said Jensen, who anchored for Team USA. “I know I’ve fenced in teams at World Cups before, but never at the Paralympics and it was just a sensational feeling know that there were people who supported you on your team and they were cheering for you and everything.”
In its first two pool matches against No. 4 Ukraine and No. 5 Hungary – which had all three members of 2016’s bronze medal-winning squad return in Tokyo – Team USA lost 45-13.
Against World No. 1 China in its final pool bout of the day, the United States fell, 45-11.
“It’s really nice to have enough women in the U.S. that are able to qualify and come to the Paralympics so that we can once again have a women’s team,” Team Captain Ellen Geddes said. “We are certainly in the beginning stages of developing a women’s team, but everybody has to start somewhere and we started this quad and we made it to the Paralympics today.”
Action resumes Saturday with the individual foil events with Geddes competing in the women’s Category B event. Team USA will then fence in the women’s team foil event on the final day of competition on Sunday.
“We have to change mindsets now from epee to foil, which is totally different,” Hayes said. “I know both of my teammates are really excellent foilists, so they’ll be bringing their A game and I’ll be bringing my A game and I’m hoping that we have a really good result.”
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