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U.S. Men's Foil Team Finishes Fifth in Havana, Moves Up to #5 in Olympic Seeding

07/03/2012, 12:56pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

The U.S. Men’s Foil Team’s mission going into the Havana World Cup team event on Sunday was clear – do better than Russia.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Men’s Foil Team’s mission going into the Havana World Cup team event on Sunday was clear – do better than Russia.

With Havana serving as the final Olympic seeding event and a handful of points separating fifth from eighth, the U.S. men could move from eighth up to fifth if they placed higher than Russia.

Following his 10th place finish in the individual event on Saturday, team anchorAlexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) stayed on the reserve list for the daywhile his London teammates Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) opened with a 45-23 win over Mexico.

In the quarter-finals, Team USA met France – the reigning Senior World silver medalists. Although Chamley-Watson posted a key win (5-3) in the seventh bout overVictor Sintes, an individual Senior World medalist in 2011, Team USA trailed France, 40-39, after the eighth.

Stepping up as anchor, Meinhardt scored four touches against Erwan Le Pechoux, a seventh-place finisher in Beijing, but Le Pechoux closed out the bout for France, 45-44.

Team USA dropped to the 5th – 8th place table where they met Poland – the fourth place finishers at the 2011 Senior Worlds.

With a 35-24 lead after the seventh bout, Imboden and Meinhardt held Pawel Kawieckiand Michael Majewski scoreless to end the match, 45-24.

Team USA’s final match of the day pitted the Americans in a head-to-head against Russia. The U.S. men won or tied seven of the first eight bouts and Meinhardt held off a late charge by Dmitry Rigin to win the bout, 45-39.

“It has been a long season where we chipped away World Cup by World Cup. The men’s foil personal coaches – Jed [Dupree], Simon [Gershon] and myself – worked very well together as a council of coaches, and are looking forward to success in the London Olympics,” said Head Coach Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) “Overall for the season, we have had our best results in a long time. This year, Team USA has made the final eight at every World Cup Team event, and once we were in the top four. Now with our improved World Ranking, we are finally in a good position to make it into the medal rounds at the London Olympic Games.”

As the fifth-ranked team in the world, Team USA will face France in the first round with the possibility of a match-up with Italy in the semis.

Top eight results are as follows:

Havana Foil Team World Cup
1. Italy
2. China
3. Egypt
4. France
5. USA
6. Russia
7. Poland
8. Germany

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