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Imboden Makes History in Havana

05/27/2013, 3:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Ranked fourth in the world last year, London Olympian Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) won two World Cup medals during his second season on the senior international circuit in 2012.

The 20-year-old was quickly became one of the new faces of U.S. men’s foil as he followed an eighth-place finish at the 2011 Senior Worlds with World Cup bronzes in Paris and Seoul as well as a gold medal at the 2012 Pan Ams.

Along with the medals came media attention and a secondary career as a runway model, but this season has been a difficult one for Imboden who failed to advance past the table of 16 during the first seven events of the World Cup circuit.

On Saturday, however, Imboden returned to form when he not only reached the medal stand, but won gold at the Havana Foil World Cup – the first World Cup title for an individual U.S. men’s foil fencer since 1999.

The seventh seed in the tournament, Imboden defeated his teammate Michael Dudey (Bellaire, Texas), 15-6, in the table of 64 and won his next two bouts by 15-14 margins over Koreans Minkyu Kim (KOR) and Jun Heo.

Imboden’s quarter-final came down to the final touch again as he edged Ryo Miyake (JPN), 15-14.

With a medal secured, Imboden needed just one period to take out Alexey Khovanskiy (RUS), 15-8, in the semifinals.

In the gold medal final, 2012 Olympic Team Champion Giorgio Avola (ITA) led the bout, 14-10, but Imboden fought back to win the bout, 15-14.

The win is the sixth individual medal out of eight World Cup and Grand Prix events for the U.S. Men’s Foil Team which now has three fencers ranked among the top 10 in the world with Imboden ranked ninth and his London Olympic teammates Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) and Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) ranked fourth and eighth, respectively.

Although Massialas did not attend the World Cup due to school commitments, Meinhardt finished in the top 16.

Meinhardt entered the event as the highest ranked fencer in the tournament and opened with a 15-5 victory over Joao Antonio Souza (BRA).

After a 15-6 win in the table of 32 over Vincent Simon (FRA), Meinhardt lost to Miyake, 15-10, in the table of 16 and placed ninth.

London Olympian Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) finished 19th. The 12th seed in the World Cup, Chamley-Watson won his table of 64 bout to Martino Minuto (ITA), 15-10, but lost to 2009 Senior World medalist Artem Sedov (RUS), 15-11.

In addition to Dudey, two other U.S. fencers advanced to the table of 64 after the pool and preliminary rounds on Friday.

Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.), a 2012 Junior World Team Champion, lost to Richard Kruse (GBR), 15-11, in the table of 64.

Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.), a 2013 Junior World Team silver medalist lost to Avola, 15-8.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Havana Individual Foil World Cup
1. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

2. Giorgio Avola (ITA)
3. Kenta Chida (JPN)
3. Alexey Khovanskiy (RUS)
5. Alexey Cheremisinov (RUS)
6. James-Andrew Davis (GBR)
7. Ryo Miyake (JPN)
8. Daniele Garozzo (ITA)

9. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
19. Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.)
57. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
58. Michael Dudey (Bellaire, Texas)
59. Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)
67. David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)
70. Max Blitzer (Staten Island, N.Y.)
84. Michael Woo (Wayne, N.J.)
94. Harrison McGuire (Cos Cob, Conn.)
101. Forrest MacDougall (Los Angeles, Calif.)
128. Stephen Mageras (Darien, Conn.)

Race Imboden on top of the podium in Cuba. Photo Credit: David Blake.

2013 Havana Foil World Cup Gold Medal Final: Race Imboden vs. Giorgio Avola

2013 Havana Foil World Cup Semis: Race Imboden vs. Alexey Khovanskiy (RUS)

Tag(s): News  Race Imboden  Gerek Meinhardt  Miles Chamley-Watson