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Imboden Earns World No. 1

07/08/2015, 5:30pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Race Imboden will be the No. 1 seed in men's foil at the Senior Worlds in Moscow.

Race Imboden won both individual and team gold medals at the Paris World Cup in January. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi / Federscherma

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For London Olympian Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the 2014-15 World Cup season was one that most fencers can only dream of.

Now, with the Senior World Championships just days away in Moscow (July 12-19), Imboden will enter the Olympic qualifier as the No. 1 men’s foil fencer in the world with three individual gold medals and two bronzes to his credit on the circuit this season.

“It’s incredible. It’s definitely an accomplishment that I’ve been wanting for a really long time and it’s definitely a satisfying feeling, but I know it’s about staying there now,” said Imboden who is focused on returning the men's foil Senior World Championship title to the United States for the second time in history. “It’s just about stepping out there and you have one goal and it’s to make that touch and make a couple more and follow through the competition and it’s just one touch at a time.”

Imboden becomes just the sixth U.S. fencer to hold an individual World No. 1 in the senior rankings as he enters his name in the record books alongside Olympic saber medalists Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.), Sada Jacobson (Atlanta, Ga.), Becca Ward (Washington, D.C.) and Keeth Smart (Brooklyn, N.Y.) as well as two-time Senior World medalist Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) who became the first foil fencer to reach No. 1 in 2014.

A top-eight finisher at the 2011 Senior Worlds and silver medalist in the team event in 2013, Imboden leads his closest opponent, Dmitry Rigin (RUS), by 35 points in the rankings after a season that included gold medals at the Tokyo and Paris World Cups as well as the Pan American Championships where he claimed his third individual title following golds in 2011 and 2012. Imboden also won bronze medals at the Torino and Havana Grand Prix tournaments and picked up a pair of top-eight results in Bonn and San Francisco.

In addition to being a top contender for gold in Moscow, Imboden has potential to secure two medals as the U.S. Men’s Foil Team won gold at the Paris World Cup and took bronze in Bonn. Imboden’s three teammates from the London Games will all be back in action and are eager to return to the finals strip where they won silver together in 2013.

Meinhardt, Alex Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) and Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.) have each won individual medals on the circuit this season and the Americans are often among each other’s toughest competition.

“I think you learn to love that fight and we know that fight is there. We joke about it. We all know what everybody else is going to do. We all know what everybody’s habits are,” Imboden said. “We grew up with one another and I think we’re each other’s hardest critics and that’s great. That’s what you want and we keep each other in check and at the same time we all know that each one of us is as strong as the other person and we come together as a team and its incredible, but it’s doesn’t really get in the way. We respect each other and we treat each other as equals.” 

Tag(s): News  Race Imboden  Gerek Meinhardt  Mariel Zagunis