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Massialas and Imboden Win Silver and Bronze at the Havana Foil Grand Prix

03/16/2015, 12:15pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(L-R): Silver medalist Alexander Massialas, gold medalist Dmitry Rigin (RUS) and bronze medalists Race Imboden and Daniele Garozzo. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – London Olympians Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) and Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) returned to the podium on Sunday at the Havana Grand Prix where Massialas won silver and Imboden took bronze in Cuba.

This marks the fifth straight tournament in which the U.S. Men’s Foil Team members have reached the podium as Imboden claimed his fourth individual medal of the World Cup season and Massialas added a second individual podium finish to his Paris World Cup bronze.

Their wins now put three U.S. men’s foil fencers in the top six in the world as Imboden is now ranked No. 2, followed by two-time Olympian Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) at No. 4 and Massialas at No. 6.

Massialas fenced 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist Sebastian Bachmann (GER) in the table of 64 and, after a cautious first period where the score was tied at 3-3, Massialas built a 12-9 lead in the second. Massialas finished the bout, 15-13, in the third period.

Imboden took an 8-3 lead after the first period of his table of 64 bout against Michal Janda (POL) and gave up just three touches in the second for a 15-6 win.

In the table of 32, Massialas outscored 2014 Pan Am bronze medalist Guilherme Toldo (BRA), 12-5, in the first period and finished the bout, 15-8.

Imboden jumped out to a 9-2 lead against Daiki Fujino (JPN) early in the first period of their table of 32 bout, but Fujino fought back to cut Imboden’s lead to three at 14-11 as the American tried to close out the bout late in the first period. Fujino scored the first three touches of the second before Imboden scored the bout-winning point for a 15-14 victory.

In a repeat of the table of 16 from the Bonn World Cup last month, Massialas fenced 2011 Senior Word Champion Andrea Cassara (ITA). Cassara led the bout, 6-4, after the first period, but Massialas came back to tie the bout at nine. Cassara scored three more for a 12-9 lead which Massialas answered with a six-touch run to win the bout, 15-12.

Imboden led his table of 16 bout against Alessio Foconi (ITA), 7-2, at the break and held off a late comeback by the Italian for a 15-12 win.

Massialas met his long-time junior rival, Edoardo Luperi (ITA) in the quarters. Luperi, the 2011 Junior World Champion, used his past experience against Massialas to outscore the American, 7-1, at the start of the bout. Massialas scored five touches in the final minute to cut Luperi’s lead to 9-6 at the end of the first period. In the second, Massialas set the tone with three straight touches to tie the bout at nine and went on to take the win, 15-12.

With Imboden up, 3-2, his quarter-final opponent, Alexey Khovanskiy (RUS), called a medical timeout, but remained in the bout. The two fencers exchanged touches with the bout tied at 10 after the first period. Khovanskiy took a two-touch lead in the second period before Imboden went on a five-touch run to close out the bout, 15-12.

Massialas drew the first semifinal and dominated the first period of his bout against 2012 Junior World silver medalist Daniele Garozzo (ITA) with a 13-8 lead at the break. In the second period, Massialas scored two quick touches for a 15-8 win.

Imboden took on top-10 fencer Dmitry Rigin (RUS) in a semifinal that would be a rematch of their final bout at the Tokyo World Cup where Imboden won his first gold of the season in November. After an action-packed first period and two late touches by Imboden, the score was tied at 13. Rigin took the win at the start of the second with two early touches and a 15-13 score.

Massialas also had a close bout in the gold medal final with the score tied at eight at the break. With Rigin up, 12-10 in the second, Massialas tied the bout, but the Russian scored three straight to win the bout, 15-13.

In addition to their medal wins, Imboden and Massialas also secured positions on both the 2015 Senior World and Pan American Championship Teams as the top two fencers in the nation. For the fifth straight year, Imboden and Massialas will be joined on both national teams by their London teammates Meinhardt and 2013 Senior World Champion Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)

Meinhardt and Chamley-Watson both earned top-32 results in Havana.

Meinhardt defeated 2013 Senior World team bronze medalist Jeremy Cadot (FRA), 15-12, in the table of 64, but lost to Taegyu Hu (KOR), 15-7, in the 32.

Chamley-Watson almost posted his first Grand Prix shutout in the table of 64 where he reeled off 13 straight touches against Tomer Or (ISR). Or stayed in the bout, however, and scored seven touches before Chamley-Watson finished the bout, 15-13. In the table of 32, Chamley-Watson lost his bout to James-Andrew Davis (GBR), 15-4.

Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.), a 2012 Junior World Team Champion, and two-time Junior World medalist Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.) both advanced to the table of 64.

Chang drew five-time Senior World Champion Peter Joppich (GER) and tied the 2012 Olympic team medalist at five in the first period. Joppich closed out the first period at 10-6 and finished the bout at 15-7.

Bravo lost his table of 64 bout against Cassara, 15-4.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Havana Men’s Foil Grand Prix
1. Dmitry Rigin (RUS)
2. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Daniele Garozzo (ITA)
3. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
5. James-Andrew Davis (GBR)
6. Edoardo Luperi (ITA)
7. Erwan Le Pechoux (FRA)
8. Alexey Khovanskiy (RUS)

19. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
27. Miles Chamley-Watson (New York, N.Y.)
53. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
57. Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)
66. Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.)
72. David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)
78. John Philippe Avendano (Colts Neck, N.J.)
79. Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.)
80. Jason Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
124. Hans Keiser (Sterling Heights, Mich.)

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