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2022 Worlds Recap: Day 3 (Women's Saber and Men's Foil)

07/17/2022, 11:15am CDT
By Bryan Wendell

Alexander Massialas is a candidate for the FIE Athletes’ Commission, and his performance on the strip Sunday afternoon at the 2022 Fencing World Championships in Egypt made for a pretty solid stump speech.

Alexander Massialas, seen fencing India's Bibish Kathiresan, was undefeated in pools. (Photo by #BizziTeam)

CAIRO — Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) is a candidate for the FIE Athletes’ Commission, and his performance on the strip Sunday afternoon at the 2022 Fencing World Championships in Egypt made for a pretty solid stump speech.

Massialas rocketed through pools, winning all six bouts by a combined score of 30-4. His indicator of +26, calculated by subtracting touches received from touches scored, was the best of all 140 fencers in pool play. 

The top 16 finishers in pools advance directly into the main tableau of 64 on Wednesday, so Massialas was done fencing after his sixth and final pools bout — a 5-0 win that put an exclamation point on his first day of competition.

Just five strips away, Chase Emmer (Morristown, N.J.) was having similar success. Emmer went undefeated in pools with a +18 indicator to move straight to Wednesday. That performance made for quite a Senior Worlds debut for Emmer, who won junior men’s foil bronze at the 2022 Junior and Cadet Worlds in Dubai.

Gerek Meinhardt (Lexington, Ky.) fenced wonderfully, too, dropping just one bout in pools. In a stroke of unfortunate luck, Meinhardt's pool had a fencer scratch, leaving a group of six fencers instead of seven.

Had Meinhardt defeated that hypothetical additional fencer — even by a score of 5-4 — he would have finished 5-1 instead of 4-1 and moved directly into the main tableau instead of fencing a win-and-in match.

But that kind of speculation is for the pundits; Meinhardt was ready to fence. With the rest of Team USA cheering from the stands, Meinhardt beat Tristan Xing Han Cheng of Malaysia, 15-5.  

Massialas, Emmer and Meinhardt will fence again Wednesday, joined in the final 64 by Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.) who bypassed pool play entirely because of his top 16 world ranking (he's No. 11).

Earlier in the day, it was time for women's saber to make its tournament debut. Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.), competing at her first Senior Worlds, led the way for Team USA with a 5-1 record in pools.

Thanks to her high indicator (+12), Johnson advanced directly into Wednesday's main tableau, where the incoming freshman at Princeton University joins Princeton grad Eliza Stone (Princeton, N.J.).

Stone, ranked No. 13 of the tournament's 133 fencers, bypassed pools entirely by virtue of her ranking in the top 16.

Tatiana Nazlymov (Bethesda, Md.) and Elizabeth Tartakovsky (Sea Bright, N.J.) each finished 4-2 in pools. That record advanced each woman to a win-and-in match for a spot in the final 64.

As fate would have it, they both faced German fencers in their direct elimination bouts. Nazlymov defeated Lea Krueger, 15-9, while Tartakovsky lost a close match to Larissa Eifler, 15-11.

What's Next?

The first medals of the 2022 Fencing World Championships will be earned Monday with world titles on the line in women's epee and men's saber.

Sixty-four athletes remain in each weapon, and they'll fence a single-elimination bracket until a world champion is crowned. (In individual fencing competitions — other than the Olympics — there is no bronze medal match, meaning there will be two bronze medalists in each event.) 

In women's epee, Team USA will be represented by Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)Margherita Guzzi Vincenti (Hartland, Wis.) and Anna van Brummen (Goleta, Calif.).

In men's saber, all four members of Team USA will compete: Daryl Homer (New York, N.Y.)Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)Andrew Mackiewicz (New York, N.Y.) and Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.).

Find live coverage on Instagram, live video on the FIE website and a full schedule at our Team USA Worlds Hub.

Tag(s): Latest News  Updates  2022 Worlds