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U.S. Men’s Foil Team Wins First Ever World Cup Gold in Paris

01/28/2013, 12:45pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Gold medalists David Willette, Miles Chamley-Watson, Race Imboden and Alexander Massialas. Photo Credit: Miles Chamley-Watson.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Men’s Foil Team made history on Sunday when the four-man squad won its first ever World Cup Team title at the Paris World Cup in France.

The team of Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) and David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) won four matches, including a final victory over the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist team from Germany en route to claiming gold.

We wanted to send a message to the fencing world that the U.S. Men’s Foil Team is looking forward to the road to Rio. This is just a start, but it's a good start. The guys were really together and many former great fencers here in Paris told me how our guys worked so well together,” said Head Coach Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) “The fact that this is the first time we have ever won a Team World Cup is only sweeter that it happened here in Paris at the most grand of World Cups in front of 5,000 paid spectators making lots of noise and cheering on great actions.”

After a bye into the table of 16, Team USA won its opening bout against Belarus, 45-30, to set up a rematch of their London Olympic quarter-final against France.

Fencing in front of a boisterous crowd with three members of the London squad (Alexander Massialas, Imboden and Chamley-Watson) competing in the team event, the Americans repeated their victory from the Games with a 45-15 win over France. Massialas, Imboden and Chamley-Watson won each of the nine bouts against a French team that included 2012 Olympians Erwarn Le Pechoux and Enzo Lefort as well as 2006 Junior World medalist Jeremy Cadot

In the semifinals, however, Team USA struggled as a strong Russian squad that was coming off a quarter-final upset of the top-ranked Italians. Russia led the match, 30-27, after the first six bouts against the trio of Massialas, Imboden and Chamley-Watson who called for a medical timeout earlier in the match after hurting his ankle.  

With the injured ankle taped up and ready to go, Chamley-Watson faced Alexey Cheremisinov, a eighth-place finisher at the London Games, in the seventh bout.

Chamley-Watson outscored the Russian, 8-4, to give Team USA a crucial 35-34 lead.

“During that bout, I told the team that I was going to go for it all and go nuts out there and I was able to do just that,” Chamley-Watson said. “I was able to really use my speed and aggression against him. I used my flicking a lot because I know he likes to step in.”

In the eighth bout, Imboden grew the lead to 40-36 after he defeated 2012 Junior World Champion Timur Safin, 5-2.

Massialas finished out the bout with a 5-1 victory over two-time Senior World medalist Artem Sedov (RUS) to seal the win for Team USA, 45-37.

In the gold medal bout, Team USA met Germany in a rematch of their bronze medal final at the London Games.

Although the German team, led by four-time individual Senior World Champion Peter Joppich, won their last match, the Americans were determined to make this outcome different.

And, indeed, Imboden made a statement with his opening bout where he shut out Joppich, 5-0.

Team USA held onto the lead through the next seven bouts.

With a 40-30 lead going into the final bout, Massialas faced Joppich who the Germans counted on to make up the deficit.

Not only didn’t the German score the 15 touches he needed, Massialas ended the match with a 5-3 win to end the match with a 45-33 victory for the Americans.

“It was very emotional for everyone and an amazing feeling winning the gold,” Chamley-Watson said. “We were so amped up and ready for revenge that it just felt great to be able to finish the day out with a win like that.”

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Paris Team Foil World Cup
1. USA
2. Germany
3. Russia
4. Ukraine
5. France
6. Great Britain
7. Italy
8. China 

Tag(s): News  Miles Chamley-Watson