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Miles Chamley-Watson and Seth Kelsey Earn Top Five World Rankings

05/13/2011, 6:16am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Two of USA Fencing’s top men’s fencers moved up the World Ranking List this week as athletes from Team USA now hold three top-five World Rankings in three different weapons.

A fifth-place finisher at the 2010 Senior World Championships, Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) is now ranked as the #2 foil fencer in the world. The 22-year-old junior at Penn State University has competed in four World Cup and Grand Prix events this season. In addition to earning top-20 finishes at the Bonn World Cup and Venice Grand Prix, Chamley-Watson led Team USA to a fifth-place finish in Bonn – the top placing for a U.S. Men’s Foil Team at a World Cup since 2007.

Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is attempting to qualify for his third Olympic Team in epee after competing in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 and is now ranked #5 in the world. Kelsey placed seventh at the 2010 Senior Worlds and finished 10th at the Doha Grand Prix earlier this year. Kelsey also has led Team USA to three podium finishes this season with silver medal wins at the 2010 Senior Worlds as well as the Tallinn World Cup in March and the Heidenheim World Cup two weeks ago.

On the women’s side, two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) remains the #1-ranked saber fencer in the world – a position she has held since 2009. The two-time reigning World Champion added three more international medals to her resume with a gold medal finish at the Orleans Grand Prix and a bronze medal win at the London World Cup in February, followed by earning a silver medal at the Moscow Grand Prix in March. Zagunis and her U.S. teammates also defeated the 2008 Olympic Champion Ukrainian Team at the Istanbul World Cup where Team USA took home the bronze.

All three athletes will continue their quest for Olympic qualification with international tournaments during the next two weeks. Kelsey will compete on Sunday at the Stockholm Grand Prix in Sweden while Zagunis and Chamley-Watson will both be in Asia next week. Zagunis will fence at the Tianjin Grand Prix in China on May 22 and Chamley-Watson will compete in both team and individual events at the Seoul World Cup on May 21 and 22.

“With the Olympic qualification season starting two weeks ago, it’s great to see our athletes in solid positions among the top fencers in the world,” said USA Fencing High Performance Director David Sach (Colorado Springs, Colo.) “This will help them all tremendously with seeding at the World Cup tournaments and the World Championships in Catania as we continue into the next year of the qualification process.”

Also this week, 16-year-old Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) moved up from 17th to 15th in women’s foil which will allow the Junior World silver medalist to advance directly to the table of 64 at World Cup and Grand Prix tournaments as one of the top-16 fencers in the world.

In addition, Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.) and 2010 World medalist Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) are ranked in the top 16 in women’s saber and men’s foil, respectively, where both athletes hold #14 rankings.

Tag(s): News  Miles Chamley-Watson