Veteran World medalists Rita Comes (50-59 saber), Patricia Bedrosian (+70 foil) and Ray Sexton III (+70 foil). (Photo credit: Rita Comes)
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA began the Veteran World Championships on Tuesday with a strong showing as three fencers claimed medals in Varna, Bulgaria.
Six months after his 70th birthday, Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas) entered the +70 men’s foil event as one of the competition’s biggest threats with eight past medals to his credit in the 50-59 and 60-69 categories.
Sexton went undefeated in the pools and made an early statement when he shut out Dominik Chren (CZE), 10-0, in the table of 32.
In the table of 16, Sexton gave up just two touches to Robert Schiel (LUX). He defeated Edmond Grangaud (FRA), 10-6, in the quarter-finals, but lost in the semifinals to Gary Aftandilov (RUS), 10-2.
Sexton won bronze and the Russian took his 10th career Veteran World title.
Sexton’s teammate, Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.), has won medals at every Veteran Worlds since moving up to the +70 category in 2010 and began the direct elimination tables with a strong bout against Ahmed Hazemzein (EGY) whom he defeated, 10-3. In the table of 16, German Tomas Klein won the bout, 10-2.
Two-time Veteran World team member Davis Carvey (Seattle, Wash.) advanced to the table of 32, but lost his bout to Nikolas Andriadze (GEO), 10-9.
Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.), a 2010 Veteran World medalist, had fenced in a difficult pool and missed the cut after a 1-4 result.
The women’s 50-59 saber team included three first-time team members and it was rookie Rita Comes (Palo Alto, Calif.) who reached the podium.
Although Comes narrowly advanced out of the table of 32 after a 10-9 victory over Grace Coulter (GBR), she rebounded in the next two rounds with 10-5 wins against both three-time Veteran World medalist Claudia Bandieri (ITA) and her teammate – three-time Veteran World Team member Heidi Runyan (San Diego, Calif.)
In the semifinals, Comes lost to Friederike Janshen (GER), 10-6. Comes won bronze and Janshen went on to claim her third straight Veteran World title.
First-time Veteran World team members Robin Pernice (Carlisle, Mass.) and Beth Vance (Clarkston, Mich.) both lost in the table of 16.
Pernice fell to Margherita Camerin (ITA), 10-9, after a bye through the table of 32.
Vance defeated Vanessa Hendra (GBR), 10-7, in the 32, but lost to eventual silver medalist Jane Hutchinson (GBR), 10-3, in her next bout.
Seventy-two-year-old Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.) won her second Veteran World medal with a bronze in the +70 foil event.
Bedrosian opened with a 10-3 win in her table of 16 bout against 2012 Veteran World medalist Motoko Kitami (JPN) and defeated Kitami’s teammate, 2007 Veteran World medalist Masako Shinki, by a score of 7-4.
Bedrosian was stopped in the semifinals by Baerbel Gorius (GER) who won their bout, 6-1.
Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.), the reigning Veteran World Champion in the +70 saber event, was in contention for a second career foil medal at the Vet Worlds after a 10-2 win in the table of 16, but lost in the quarters to eventual champion Marie Demaille (FRA), 10-5.
Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.) and Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.) were each eliminated in the table of 16.
Graham lost to eight-time Veteran World Champion Janet Cooksey (GBR), 10-5, and Reckling was eliminated by six-time Veteran World Champion Brigitte Greunke (GER), 10-2.
Fencing at his fifth Veteran World Championships, Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.) finished one touch away from winning a medal in the men’s 60-69 epee competition.
Ridge, a bronze medalist at the 2011 Veteran Worlds, finished the pools as the sixth-ranked fencer and earned a bye into the table of 32 where he defeated Aleksandar Anastasov (MKD), 10-6.
Ridge won his next bout over Daniel Feraud (ARG), 10-5, to advance to the quarter-finals where he fenced a close bout against Volker Fischer (GER), but lost by a single touch to Fischer who went on to win his fourth Veteran World title.
First-time Veteran World Team member Daryl Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif.) entered the table of 64 as the sixth seed and edged Ravil Zakirov (RUS), 9-8, in the table of 32. Taylor finished ninth after a 9-6 loss to Giuseppe Marino (ITA) in the table of 16.
Bob Cochrane (Lake Worth, Fla.) and Gary Linton (Venice, Fla.) were both eliminated in the table of 32.
A two-time Veteran World medalist, Cochrane was outtouched by Feraud, 10-9, after a first-round bye.
Fencing at his first Veteran Worlds since 2000, Linton defeated Petr Alabuzhin (RUS), 10-8, in the table of 64, but lost his next bout to top seed Eiichi Ide (JPN), 10-8.
Click here to view complete results.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Veteran Women’s 50-59 Saber
1. Friederike Janshen (GER)
2. Jane Hutchinson (GBR)
3. Rita Comes (Palo Alto, Calif.)
3. Sylvie Zini (FRA)
5. Heidi Runyan (San Diego, Calif.)
6. Margherita Camerin (ITA)
7. Patricia Reguigne (FRA)
8. Corinne Aubailly (FRA)
12. Robin Pernice (Carlisle Mass.)
13. Beth Vance (Clarkston, Mich.)
Veteran Men’s 60-69 Epee
1. Volker Fischer (GER)
2. Francois Ringeissen (FRA)
3. Jeno Pap (HUN)
3. Yutaka Yamazaki (JPN)
5. Eiichi Ide (JPN)
6. Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.)
7. Giuseppe Marino (ITA)
8. Graham Paul (GBR)
9. Daryl Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif.)
19. Bob Cochrane (Lake Worth, Fla.)
31. Gary Linton (Venice, Fla.)
Veteran Men’s +70 Foil
1. Gary Aftandilov (RUS)
2. Malcolm Cawton (GBR)
3. Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
3. Hans Visser (GER)
5. Hanns Prechtl (GER)
6. Tomas Klein (GER)
7. Edmond Grangaud (FRA)
8. Istuan Szentkiralyi (HUN)
11. Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.)
21. Davis Carvey (Seattle, Wash.)
31. Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.)
Veteran Women’s +70 Foil
1. Marie Demaille (FRA)
2. Barbel Gorius (GER)
3. Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.)
3. Janet Cooksey (GBR)
5. Brigitte Greunke (GER)
6. Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.)
7. Masasko Shinki (JPN)
8. Eva Cremer-Schlede (GER)
12. Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.)
13. Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.)