Andrew Mackiewicz went undefeated in pools, advancing him directly into Monday's tableau. (Photo by #BizziTeam)
CAIRO — It's safe to say Team USA has arrived in Egypt.
The women's epee and men's saber teams got the tournament off to a soaring start Friday, with seven fencers advancing to the second day of competition at the 2022 Fencing World Championships in Cairo.
Andrew Mackiewicz (New York, N.Y.) led the way in men's saber, finishing pools a perfect 5-0 and outscoring his opponents by a combined total of 25-7.
Because he had one of the 16 best performances in pools, Mackiewicz advanced directly into Monday's main tableau of 64 fencers without having to fence any direct elimination bouts on Friday.
He'll be joined in that round by Daryl Homer (New York, N.Y.) and Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.). Homer and Dershwitz are ranked in the top 16 of the 159 fencers competing at Worlds (Nos. 9 and 10, respectively), so they bypassed pools and preliminary direct elimination bouts to advance into the main tableau.
Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) had a solid showing in pools, finishing 3-2. That record qualified him for the preliminary tableau, where he was matched against Muhammed Anasiz of Turkey in a winner-take-all bout.
With Homer, Dershwitz, Mackiewicz and coach Akhnaten Spencer-EL cheering him on, Thompson powered through with a 15-10 win.
The men's saber team will return to action on Monday, with a start time of 4 a.m. EDT for the tableau of 64 and beyond. The matchups have already been set.
In women's epee, Margherita Guzzi Vincenti (Hartland, Wis.) had a near-flawless showing in pools, finishing 5-1. That earned her a win-and-in bout against Elle Meihui Koh of Singapore, which Guzzi Vincenti won 15-2 to advance to Monday.
Anna van Brummen (Goleta, Calif.) finished 4-2 in pools before battling her way to a 15-13 win over Canada's Emma Ning to grab a spot in the main tableau.
Guzzi Vincenti and van Brummen will be joined in Monday's action by Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.). Holmes, the tournament's ninth-ranked fencer, was exempt from Friday's competition but was still at the venue to train and cheer on her teammates.
Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.) finished pools 2-3 and won her round of 128 bout before falling to Japan's Nozomi Sato.
Women's epee will be back in action at 2:30 a.m. EDT on Monday to start the direct elimination rounds, with competition continuing until a champion is crowned. See the tableau here.