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Double Gold for U.S. Men’s Foil at the Paris World Cup

01/19/2015, 5:15am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Gold medalists Race Imboden, Gerek Meinhardt, Alex Massialas and Miles Chamley-Watson with coaches Dan Kellner and Greg Massialas. Photo Credit; Augusto Bizzi.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For the first time in history, the U.S. Men’s foil squad won both the individual and team titles at the same World Cup in Paris over the weekend.

On Saturday, London Olympian Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) reached the podium for the third time this season, winning his second gold medal and becoming the first U.S. athlete ever to win an individual title at the Paris World Cup. Imboden was joined on the podium by his London teammate, Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), who took bronze.

Imboden came into the table of 64 as the fourth seed and defeated Michal Janda (POL), 15-11, to start the tournament.

He won the next two bouts by 15-10 margins against Dmitry Komissarov (RUS) and five-time Senior World Champion Peter Joppich (GER).

In the quarter-finals, Imboden defeated Alessio Foconi (ITA), 15-11, to qualify for the medal rounds.

Massialas opened the tournament with a 15-8 win against Georg Doerr (GER) and a 15-10 victory against 2009 Senior World team bronze medalist Alexey Khovanskiy (RUS).

Massialas defeated Baptiste Mourrain (FRA), 15-11, in the table of 16 and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Alaaeldin Abouelkassem (EGY), 15-8, in the quarter-finals.  

Fencing Massialas for the first time in competition since April, Imboden scored four straight touches early in the bout and built an 8-2 lead within the first minute. Massialas requested a weapon change and scored five straight to cut Imboden’s lead to 8-7. Imboden answered with three more touches for an 11-7 lead and went on to finish the bout, 15-10.

In the finals, Imboden and 2012 Junior World silver medalist Daniele Garozzo (ITA) swapped touches with Imboden building a 6-3 lead 30 seconds into the bout. Garozzo came back to tie the bout at six and later went on to take a 12-10 lead before Imboden went on a 5-1 run to finish the bout, 15-13.

Imboden joined with Massialas and their 2012 Olympic teammates Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.) and Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) to fence the team event on Sunday where the Americans defeated Ukraine, 45-28, in the table of 16.

The win would put Team USA into the quarter-finals against China – the team that defeated the Americans at the 2014 Senior Worlds and went on to win silver.

China held an 18-16 lead after winning the first four bouts, but Meinhardt outscored 2014 Junior World Champion Haiwei Chen, 9-6, in the fifth to put Team USA into the lead, 25-24.

Massialas defeated 2014 Senior World silver medalist Jianfei Ma, 5-2, in the sixth and Meinhardt won the seventh bout against 2012 Olympic Champion Sheng Lei, 5-4. Although Chamley-Watson lost to Ma, 8-5, in the eighth, Team USA still held a 40-38 lead going into the final bout where Massialas shut out Chen, 5-0, and the Americans earned a 45-38 victory.

In the semifinals, Team USA won six of the first eight bouts to build a 38-26 lead. Massialas held off 2014 Senior World Champion Alexey Cheremisinov in the anchor bout and Team USA won the match, 45-36.

The Americans took on Italy, the No. 1-ranked team in the world in the gold medal final – a rematch of the 2013 Senior World finals.

Italy controlled the first four bouts and held a 20-13 lead going into the fifth when Massialas outscored 2013 Senior World bronze medalist Valerio Aspromonte, 12-2. Imboden blanked the sixth bout against 2012 Olympic Team Champion Andrea Baldini to hold the lead at 25-22.

By the end of the eighth bout, however, Italy had fought its way back to a 40-38 lead.

Baldini outscored Massialas, 4-3, for a 44-41 lead and seemed poised to close the match out, but Massialas wasn’t done yet. He scored four straight touches to finish the match, 45-44, and make Team USA’s first medal of the season a gold one.

“We have had some great results as we are building our team effort for Rio and this was a great team victory. Everyone supported each other and fought for every touch. If things were tough in a bout, they fought for every extra touch for the team good,” said Head Coach Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) “This was a great victory and Paris is the greatest stage for fencing outside of the Olympics and Worlds. It would not have happened without all the work and effort from all the personal coaches: Simon Gershon, Dan Kellner, little Gia at Notre Dame and myself. Without all the work all year long, these types of results would not be possible.”

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

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

2. Daniele Garozzo (ITA)
3. Enzo Lefort (FRA)
3. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
5. James-Andrew Davis (GBR)
6. Alaaeldin Abouelkassem (EGY)
7. Lorenzo Nista (ITA)
8. Alessio Foconi (ITA)

10. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
53. Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)
57. Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)
81. David Willette (San Francisco, Calif.)
82. Michael Woo (Wayne, N.J.)
102. Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.)
117. Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
123. Adam Mathieu (Union City, N.J.)
126. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)

Paris Team Foil World Cup
1. USA

2. Italy
3. Russia
4. France
5. Great Britain
6. Germany
7. China
8. Korea

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