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Maya Lawrence Places 16th in Women's Epee at London Olympic Games

07/30/2012, 4:06am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(London) – Seven years after qualifying for her first Senior World Championship Team, 32-year-old Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.) earned a career-best 16th place finish in women’s epee at the London Olympic Games.

After a first-round bye, Lawrence battled back from a 5-2 deficit against Mara Navarria (ITA) in the table of 32 to tie the score at 10 and win the bout, 15-12.

Lawrence faced a second Italian – seventh-ranked Rossella Fiamingo (ITA) – in the table of 16.

By the end of the second period, Fiamingo built a 12-7 lead that she held onto in the third period before winning the bout, 15-7.

“I definitely had a plan. I didn’t execute it though. I fell a little bit too much into her rhythm and I fell into her trap and she hit me 15 times,” Lawrence said. “So that’s what happened there. We’ve practiced together, but it’s the first time I’ve fenced her in competition. Now I know what I have to do. I felt a few touches that were perfect and I just need to concentrate on those for next time.”

Although the result was Lawrence’s best on the world stage, she noted that she was disappointed to have not advanced further in the rounds.

“I’m obviously disappointed that I didn’t win the second bout, but I think it was a great learning experience. It was a lot different from the other competitions we had during the year, so, for next time, now I know how things will go – the rhythm of the preparations and the different warm-up rooms and all of the other things you have to do. So that was really good,” Lawrence said. “I know I should be happier than I feel right now. I’ll probably feel a little bit better about it tomorrow. It’s the best result I’ve ever had so I have to try and think about that, but I’m definitely really excited about team, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Lawrence’s teammate, Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) also earned a bye into the 32, but a difficult draw meant an opening bout against five-time Olympic medalist Laura Flessel-Colovic (FRA).

With the score tied at seven after the first period, Flessel-Colovic took a 13-12 lead at the end of the second. Flessel-Colovic scored the first two touches of the third bout, however, to take the win, 15-12.

Like her teamamtes, 21-year-old Susie Scanlan (St. Paul, Minn.) also is a first-time Olympian. Scanlan fenced in the table of 64 where Olena Kryvytska (UKR) took an 8-4 lead. Scanlan came back to tie the bout at eight, but Kryvytska came back for a 15-13 win.  

Lawrence, Hurley, Scanlan and replacement athlete Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) will fence Italy in the quarter-finals of the team event on Saturday.

“We’ve fenced Italy a bunch of times. The last time we won in overtime, but we’re definitely expecting a close match. We have a plan and I’m confident we’ll be able to execute it well. I think they’ve got, on paper, besides Romania, they’re probably the best team. They’re really really strong, but I think our games match up well with them,” Lawrence said. “I train with one of the girls, so I know how she fences. Courtney’s also fenced most of them, so I think we’re well prepared and I’m looking forward to it.”

Competition continues at the ExCel Center on Tuesday when men’s foil takes the strip.

Competition schedule is as follows:

11:50 a.m.
Men’s Individual Foil Table of 32
Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa. / New York City) vs. Alaaeldin Abouelkassem (EGY)

12:20 p.m.
Men’s Individual Foil Table of 32
Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) vs. Etienne Lalonde Turbide (CAN)

1:20 p.m.
Men’s Individual Foil Table of 32
Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) vs. winner of Guilherme Toldo (BRA) vs. Ali Lahoussine (MOR)

2:10 p.m.
Round of 16

3:30 p.m.

6 p.m.

7:10 p.m.

Tag(s): News  Maya Lawrence