(Budapest, Hungary) – After months of training, preparation and anticipation, the Senior World Championships will begin on Monday with the preliminary rounds of the men’s saber and women’s epee and foil events.
Competition begins at 9 a.m. local time with the men’s individual saber pools.
London Olympian Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) is exempt from the pool rounds as the seventh seed in the event while first-time Senior World Team members Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.), Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) and Aleksander Ochocki (Linden, N.J.) will each fence in the preliminary rounds.
Spear, a London Olympian, drew a six-person pool and will face five-time Senior World Team member Ke Lu Jiang (CHN), four-time Senior World Team member Seppe Van Holsbeke (BEL), two-time Junior World Team member Luis Vila Correa (COL), 2007 Junior World Team member Alexander Crutchett (GBR) and Guido Eduardo Mulero (ARG) in the round robin. The 2012 Pan Am silver medalists holds an undefeated record against three of his opponents – Holsbeke, Correa and Mulero.
A 2010 Junior World team medalist, Ochocki’s silver medal finish at the Pan American Championships in June moved him into the #31 ranking in the world. Ochocki drew a lineup of six fencers from four continents: three-time Senior World Team member Alexandre Woog (ISR), four-time Junior World Team member Ziad Elsissy (EGY), 2012 Junior World Team member Zak Leonhard (AUS), Abdullah Alkhaiyat (KUW) and 51-year-old Nejojsa Sreckovic (SRB). Ochocki’s opponents will be new faces to the American with the exception of Ayala whom he defeated at the 2010 Isla de Margarita World Cup.
Although Dershwitz has won medals at the last two Junior World Championships, the 17-year-old has focused primarily on the junior circuit and holds a #78 world ranking going into the pools. Dershwitz has posted top-32 and top-64 results in his two Senior World Cup appearances, but the low seed places him against tough opponents, including 2004 Junior World silver medalist Ilya Mokretcov (UKR), 2007 Junior World Team member Shun Tanaka (JPN), Saba Sulamanidze (GEO), Mandeep Singh (FIE), Tarik Ruiz (CHI) and Andriy Yagodka (UKR) who is currently ranked 19th in the world. Of his six opponents, Dershwitz has only fenced one in competition – Ruiz who Dershwitz defeated in the pools at the Pan Ams in June.
In the women’s foil event, London Olympian Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) and four-time Junior World medalist Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) will represent Team USA. Ross’s London teammates, Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) and Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.), are ranked sixth and seventh in the world, respectively, and will advance directly to the table of 64 on Wednesday.
Ross will face six fencers in her pool: two-time Olympian Olga Leleyko (UKR), three-time Senior World Team member Wenying Wang (SIN), two-time Junior World Team member Martyna Jelinska (POL), Iyo Matsumoto (JPN), Kimberley Vanessa Cheung (HKG) and Christine Botros (BRA). Ross has lost just one bout to any of the six fencers during the last three seasons and notably defeated Leleyko during their last bout, 15-12, at the 2012 Gdansk Grand Prix.
Lu drew a pool with just five opponents: 2013 Junior World Team member Haruka Yanaoka (JPN), 2008 Pan American Junior Champion Isis Jimenez (VEN), Jacqueline Budniak (AUS), Seung Min Lim (KOR), Seung Min Lim (KOR) and Flavia Johana Mormandi (ARG) whom Lu defeated, 14-12, at the Pan American Championships in Colombia in June. Of the five fencers, Loss has posted a loss to just one – Yanaoka – who defeated Lu in a Junior World Cup pool bout earlier this season.
Both Ross and Lu will avoid fencing six-time Olympic and 13-time Senior World Champion Valentina Vezzali (ITA) who will be entered in pools for the first time in years after the 2012 Olympic Team Champion took this season off to have a baby.
Competition on Monday will conclude with the women’s epee event where two of Team USA’s 2012 Olympic team bronze medalists – Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.) and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) – will fence in the pools with first-time Senior World Team member Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), Team USA’s anchor in the 2012 bronze medal bout, is seeded 14th in Budapest and is exempt from pools.
Lawrence’s opponents include six-time Senior World Team member Dirley Janineth Yepes Molina (CRC), two-time Junior World Team member Hyojoo Choi (KOR), 2013 Junior World Team member Nickol Tal (ISR), 2012 Junior World Team member Ka Mong Chu (HKG), Vanessa Lacas-Warrick (CAN) and Victoria Ann Xiu Yan Lim (SIN). Lawrence has only fenced one of her opponents in international competition and split her pool bout with Lacas-Warrick, 4-4, at the Pan Ams in June.
A two-time Olympian, Kelley Hurley will fence the following opponents: three-time Senior World Team member Dagmar Baranikova (SVK), two-time Senior World Team member Orkhon Erdenebaatar (MGL), Reha Dogan (TUR), 2010 Senior World Team member Lis Fautsch LUX), 2010 Junior World Team member Michala Pechovova (CZE) and 2005 Junior World Team member Julia Revesz (HUN). Hurley defeated Revesz and Fautsch in World Cups earlier this season and lost her most recent bout to Baranikova in 2010.
Although this will be Holmes’s fifth career senior international tournament, she boasts two Junior World medals as well as a silver at the Pan Ams in June. Holmes’s lineup in Budapest will include three-time Junior World medalist Eunsook Choi (KOR), two-time Senior World Team member Sanne Gars (SWE), four-time Junior World Team member Daniella Klonarides (RSA), Hsin Hui Tseng (TPE) and Terhi Lumme . She will also face Hungarian Edina Antal in front of a hometown crowd. Although Antal will be a local favorite, Holmes won their last bout in 2009 at the Tauberbischofsheim Junior World Cup.
Follow the results live at http://www.engarde-service.com/files/wch2013/wch2013/.
Competition schedule is as follows (All times local):
Monday, Aug. 5
Men’s Individual Saber Pools
Men’s Individual Saber Preliminary Round of 128
Men’s Individual Saber Preliminary Round of 64
Women’s Individual Foil Pools
Women’s Individual Foil Preliminary Round of 64
Women’s Individual Epee Pools
Women’s Individual Epee Preliminary Round of 128
Women’s Individual Epee Preliminary Round of 64