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Team USA Places Fifth at Havana Foil World Cup, Massialas Finishes 15th

06/20/2011, 7:40am CDT
By USA Fencing

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Men’s Foil Team finished fifth in the second team qualifying event for the 2012 Olympic Games on Sunday at the Havana World Cup in Cuba. 

The young squad included  Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.), the #9-ranked foil fencer in the world, as well as three members of the team that won the Junior World Championships in April – Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), Race Imboden (New York City, N.Y.) and David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)

Seeded seventh in the tournament, Team USA won the first bout against Poland, 44-40, to advance to the quarter-finals against China – the reigning World Championships.

Going into the final match, China held a one-touch lead of 39-38 as Chamley-Watson took the strip against Lei Sheng (CHN), the #1-ranked fencer in the world and a three-time World medalist.

Chamley-Watson tied the bout at 42, but Sheng scored the next three touches to win the bout, 45-42.

In the 5th – 8th place table, Team USA defeated sixth seed France, 45-41, and fifth seed Korea, 45-38, to place fifth overall in the final World Cup tournament of the season. The finish also moved Team USA into fifth on both the world and Olympic rankings list.

“This was a good result to end the season with.  This year we showed that we can consistently finish in the top eight in the world.  If we can maintain cohesiveness, clarity, and confidence going into the next team events, I am absolutely sure that this team can achieve greater things,” said USA Fencing Foil Director Mauro Hamza (Houston, Texas).

Competition was also held in the individual men’s foil on Friday and Saturday in which Massialas earned Team USA’s highest finish with a 15th place result.

Massialas won his first bout in the table of 64 on Saturday against Richard Kruse (GBR), 15-10, and defeated Pawel Kawiecki (POL), 15-12, in the table of 32.

In the quarter-finals, Massialas lost his bout to 2004 Olympic medalist Andrea Cassara (ITA), 15-9, before Cassara went on to win gold – the third title for the Italian at this event.

Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.), a 2011 Cadet World Team member, earned his first top-32 finish of the season. Chang upset 2009 Senior World silver medalist Jun Zhu (CHN), 15-13, but lost to Thibault Sarda (FRA), 15-10, to finish 26th.

Chamley-Watson, and 2010 Senior World medalist Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) each advanced to the table of 64 automatically as two of the top 16 seeds in the tournament while Imboden qualified through the pools and preliminary tables that were held on Friday.

Chamley-Watson placed 36th after a 15-12 loss to Kwoon Yat Ngan (HKG).

Meinhardt had a close bout against 2009 Junior World Champion Tommaso Lari (ITA), but lost the match, 15-14, and placed 40th.

Imboden lost his opening bout to 2008 Olympic silver medalist Yuki Ota (JPN), 15-5, and finished 61st.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows, including athletes who placed outside the top 64 in individual competition on Friday:

Havana Individual Foil World Cup
1. Andrea Cassara (ITA)
2. Rostislav Hertsyk (UKR)
3. Marcel Marcilloux (FRA)
3. Sheng Lei (CHN)
5. Valerio Aspromonte (ITA)
6. Marcin Zawada (POL)
7. Roland Schlosser (AUT)
8. Martino Minuto (ITA)

15. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
26. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
36. Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.)
40. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
61. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
65. David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)
86. Jeremy Goldstein (Westport, Conn.)
87. Ariel DeSmet (Portland, Ore.)
94. Turner Caldwell (San Francisco, Calif.)
111. Benjamin Parkins (The Woodlands, Texas)
135. Kurt Getz (Rye, N.Y.)
146. Andras Horanyi (Boulder, Colo.)

Havana Team World Cup
1. Italy
2. Japan
3. Russia
4. China
5. USA
6. Korea
7. Great Britain
8. France

Tag(s): News  Alexander Massialas  Miles Chamley-Watson