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6,500 Fencers Descend Upon Atlanta

07/02/2010, 10:59am CDT
By No Author

US Fencing Summer National Championships Attracts Country’s Best

ATLANTA, Ga. – The United States Fencing Association (USFA) hosts its Summer National Championships in Atlanta, July 4-13. The best and brightest in American fencing will be on display at the Georgia World Congress Center. The largest fencing tournament in world features 6,500 fencers of all ages from over 300 teams competing in 102 events.

“The US Fencing Summer National Championships is one the most exciting events of the year,” said 2008 Olympic silver medalist Tim Morehouse (Bronx, N.Y.), who will be competing in the senior men’s saber event. “To have 6,000 plus fencers competing in one place is also a tremendous showing in terms of the growth of our sport in the USA.”

Atlanta is hosting the event for the third time. Morehouse is participating in a community outreach event at the Warren/Holyfield Boys & Girls Club on Friday to kickoff the tournament. He will be conducting live fencing demonstrations with several members of the Shepherd Spinal Center’s fencing team, the only disabled fencing team in the U.S.

“I'm nervous, excited and can't wait to compete here in the great city of Atlanta,” Morehouse said. “Fencing is one of the greatest sports in the world and more people are realizing it's benefits both physically and mentally and that's very exciting.”

Also participating in both the community event and tournament is 2008 Paralympian Mark Calhoun. The men’s wheelchair fencer and Emily Jacobson, a senior women’s saber fencer, are just two of the many local fencers competing at the Summer Nationals.

“It's wonderful to be back in Atlanta for our Summer Nationals,” said USFA President Kalle Weeks. “The city and our Atlanta volunteers always welcome us with their outstanding Southern hospitality, as our fencers, young and old, show off their championship fencing skills.”

Many of the top American fencers will be competing. The top three highest ranking senior men’s and women’s foil fencers will be on hand. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) leads the way in women’s foil after reaching the round of 16 at the FIE World Cup in New York City in June. Beijing Olympian Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) currently ranks second in the U.S. men’s foil rankings.

Morehouse is joined by fellow NYC World Cup quarterfinalist Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) in the men’s saber field. Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) and Daria Schneider (New York, N.Y.) will compete with Jacobson and others to win the women’s saber event in the absence of World No. 1 Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.).

Epee fencing was absent from the NYC World Cup but it will play a major role in Atlanta. Beijing Olympians Weston Kelsey (Bush Prairie, Wash.), Cody Mattern (Portland, Ore.) and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) headline the competitive field of epee fencers.

“It is exciting to compete for the USA and to represent them at the Zonal and World Championships, and I am glad that I have earned that honor,” said Hurley. “Summer Nationals is always a good opportunity to show everyone how hard you've worked throughout the fencing season and that you're ready to give the World Championships your all.”

The competition will take place in Hall B5 and is free and open to the public. The latest results from women’s foil can be found on www.usfencing.org. Follow the live Tweeting online at www.twitter.com/usfencing.

About U.S. Fencing Association: The United States Fencing Association (USFA) is the recognized NGB for the sport of fencing in the United States. The USFA was founded in 1891 as the Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) by a group of New York fencers seeking independence from the Amateur Athletic Union. The AFLA changed its name to the United States Fencing Association in 1981. The USFA is affiliated with the Féderation Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international federation for fencing founded in Paris in 1913. The USFA was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Pennsylvania in 1964 and in Colorado in 1993 in compliance with the Amateur Sports Act and opened its national office at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. in August of 1982. For more visit www.usfencing.org, www.facebook.com/usfencing or www.twitter.com/usfencing.



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