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Senior World Foil Preliminary Round Preview: July 16

07/15/2014, 12:00am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Nicole Ross. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Kazan, Russia) – The preliminary rounds will continue at the Senior World Championships in Kazan, Russia on Wednesday with the men’s and women’s foil events.  

All four members of the U.S. Men’s Foil Team are exempt from the pools as London Olympians and 2013 Senior World team medalists Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.), Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.), Alex Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) and Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) are each ranked in the top 16 and won’t fence until the table of 64 is held on Friday. Team USA is the only nation to have four fencers in the top 16, followed by Italy who has three exempt fencers.

In the women’s competition, half of Team USA is ranked in the top 16, meaning that both London Olympians Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) and Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) are exempt from pools.

London Olympian Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) finished in the top 16 at the Senior Worlds in 2014 and has been one of Team USA’s best pool fencers this season, advancing directly from the pools to the direct elimination rounds in nearly every international event with 5-1 or 6-0 results.

Ross is hoping to keep up her consistency in Russia, although her pool will feature a lineup of new faces as she has never fenced five of her six opponents in international competition, including Giselle Vicator (RSA), Andrea Bimova (CZE), Margarita Sokolovskaja (AUS), Eman Shaaban (EGY) and Alexandra Sinyta (UKR). She is quite familiar with zonal opponent Flavia Johana Mormandi (ARG) whom she has defeated three times during their previous encounters, including twice last season.

A four-time Junior World medalist, Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) will be fencing at her second Senior Worlds.

Like Ross, Lu has only fenced one of her pool opponents in previous international competition – Shannon Comerford (CAN) whom Lu defeated at the 2013 Pan Ams as well as during a bout at the 2008 Las Vegas World Cup – Lu’s debut on the senior circuit as a 14-year-old. While she has not fenced Corinne Maitrejean (FRA) in an individual event, Lu will be familiar with Maitrejean, a two-time Senior World team medalist, from team competitions. Other fencers in Lu’s pool include Tais Rochel (BRA), Karen Bell (DEN), Karin Miyawaki (JPN) and Jacqueline Budniak (AUS).

Competition will begin for the women’s pools at 10 a.m. local time (2 a.m. Eastern).

The top 16 athletes after the pools will join the exempt athletes as the 17th – 32nd seeds in the table of 64 on Saturday. Athletes will qualify for the remaining 32 positions in the table of 64 through the preliminary table of 64 which will be held following the pool rounds.

Results will be updated live at

Tag(s): News  Race Imboden  Alexander Massialas  Gerek Meinhardt  Miles Chamley-Watson  Lee Kiefer  Nzingha Prescod