skip navigation

David Willette Upsets #4 Valerio Aspromonte, Places 16th at Shanghai Grand Prix

05/10/2011, 4:32am CDT
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Eighteen-year-old David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) began the London Olympic qualification period with his first top-16 finish of the senior individual season and upset one of the top fencers in the world in the process on Tuesday at the Shanghai Grand Prix.

Willette, who won his second Junior World Team Championship title in April to close out his status as a junior, narrowly qualified for the preliminary tables after posting a 2-4 record in the pools on Monday, but he advanced to the table of 64 as one of five members of Team USA to do so.

As the 61st seed in the table, Willette drew Valerio Aspromonte (ITA), the #4-ranked player in the world in the opening round. Willette won the bout, 15-14, to advance to the table of 32 where he defeated Maor Hatoel (ISR), 15-13.

Fencing for a berth into the quarter-finals, Willette led Luca Simoncelli (ITA), 10-8, but Simoncelli came back to win the bout, 15-12. Simoncelli went on to win the silver medal and Willette placed 16th overall.

As the #3 and #11 seeds, respectively, Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) were exempt from preliminary competition and advanced directly to the table of 64 on Tuesday.

Chamley-Watson, a fifth-place finisher at the 2010 Senior World Championships, placed 33rd overall after a 15-8 loss against Klod Yunes (UKR).

Competing for the first time in an international event since winning bronze at the 2010 Senior Worlds, Meinhardt lost his opening bout to Kenta Chida (JPN), 15-10, and placed 36th.

Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who won gold alongside Willette at the Junior Worlds, advanced directly out of the pools and into the table of 64 as the #27 seed at his first Grand Prix event. Imboden had a close opening bout against Johannes Poscharnig (AUT), but the Austrian earned the win, 15-14, and Imboden placed 41st.

Jeremy Goldstein (Westport, Conn.) split his pool bouts, 3-3, and qualified for the table of 64 through the preliminary tables, but lost to 2009 Senior World Champion Andrea Baldini (ITA) , 15-4, and finished in 60th place.

Three U.S. athletes competed on Monday, but did not qualify for the table of 64.

Three-time Senior World Team member Kurt Getz (Rye, N.Y.) won three of his six pool bouts before losing in the preliminary table to Edward Jeffries (GBR) and placing 69th.

A three-time medalist at the Junior and Cadet Worlds in April, 17-year-old Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) won three of his six pool bouts, but lost in the preliminary table to Young-Ho Kwon (KOR) and finished the day in 72nd place.

Ariel DeSmet (Portland, Ore.) was eliminated after five losses in the pools and placed 96th.

Top-eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Shanghai Men’s Foil Grand Prix
1. Erwan LePechoux (FRA)
2. Luca Simoncelli (ITA)
3. Alessio Foconi
3. Andrea Cassara (ITA)
5. Jialuo Shi (CHN)
6. Brice Guyart (FRA)
7. Roland Schlosser (AUT)
8. Klod Yunes (UKR)

16. David Willette (San Francisco, Calif.)
33. Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.)
36. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
41. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
60. Jeremy Goldstein (Westport, Conn.)
69. Kurt Getz (Rye, N.Y.)
72. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
96. Ariel DeSmet (Portland, Ore.)

Tag(s): News