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D.C. Foil Grand Prix, Day 1: 12 Team USA Women Advance to Sunday’s Round of 64

03/15/2024, 6:30pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

The group of 12 includes a mix of younger and more experienced athletes who together showcase the depth of the Women’s Foil program in the United States.

Photo by Augusto Bizzi, #BizziTeam

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gabrielle Grace Gebala (Silicon Valley Fencing Center) just wanted to have a strong performance in pools.

As a 16-year-old attending her first senior international tournament, Gebala wanted to gain experience against the world’s best fencers, sharpen her skills and have a good time. Even that would’ve made the cross-country flight from California worthwhile.

But Gebala didn’t merely pass her first test against the world’s best. She aced it, going 4-2 in pools and winning her direct elimination bout to advance to Sunday’s Round of 64. 

“I tried to not stress too much,” she says. “Because of course I want to win. Who’d want to lose? But at the same time, I was like, this is my first senior international. So I think it's better if I just have fun and then do my best out there.”

On Friday, Gebala was one of a dozen women from Team USA to advance to Sunday’s main tableau at the 2024 Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix in Washington, D.C.

The group of 12 includes a mix of younger and more experienced athletes who together showcase the depth of the Women’s Foil program in the United States. The result allows Gebala to join some of her fencing heroes like Jackie Dubrovich OLY and Lee Kiefer OLY in the main tableau. 

Because the Grand Prix is being held alongside a Super Junior & Cadet Circuit tournament — ”two floors of fencing action” — Gebala’s friends and teammates were in the building to watch her shine.

“It’s great being surrounded by a bunch of my friends since it there's also the SJCC,” she says. “And some of them came up and supported me. I don’t want to say it feels like home, but considering it's held in the U.S., it kind of feels like home.”

Here’s who advanced to Sunday’s Round of 64. The women’s competition begins at 9 a.m., and you can see the full tableau here.

Advancing to Sunday’s Round of 64

  • Delphine DeVore

  • Jacqueline Dubrovich OLY, New Jersey Fencing Alliance

  • Gabrielle Grace Gebala, Silicon Valley Fencing Center

  • Emily Jing, Star Fencing Academy

  • Lee Kiefer OLY, Bluegrass Fencers' Club

  • Alina Lee, Massialas Foundation (M Team)

  • Jaelyn Liu, Star Fencing Academy

  • Katerina Lung, Moe Fencing Club LLC

  • Zander Rhodes, V Fencing Club

  • Lauren Scruggs, Peter Westbrook Foundation

  • Sara Taffel, PISTE Fencing Academy

  • Maia Weintraub, Fencers Club Inc.

Next Up: Men’s Qualification

On Saturday, it’s the men’s turn to take the strip. Twenty members of Team USA will start their tournament in the pools round while three — Alexander Massialas OLY, Nick Itkin OLY and Gerek Meinhardt OLY — move straight to Sunday’s Round of 64.

Why 23 total men’s fencers instead of the normal 12 we send to senior World Cup and Grand Prix tournaments? As hosts, we’re permitted to register 20 fencers — plus the opportunity to bring in additional Team USA fencers to fill pools.

Additional Team USA Women’s Foil results

68th: Stefani Deschner

96th: Chin-Yi Kong

108th: Jia Chen

112th: Mikayla Chusid

113th: Josephina Conway

118th: Sabrina Cho

119th: Rachael Kim

121st: Rebecca Cho

122nd: Alexandra Nissinoff

125th: Hailey Eyer

144th: Ryanne Leslie

157th: Caterina Fedeli

Tag(s): Updates  2024 Foil Grand Prix