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Meinhardt Places Ninth at San Jose Men’s Foil World Cup

10/18/2015, 12:15am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Gerek Meinhardt. Photo Credit: Serge Tiamcheff /

(San Jose, Calif.) – Two-time Olympian Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) got the new season started with a ninth place finish at the San Jose Men’s Foil World Cup on Saturday.

In his first tournament since winning bronze at the Senior World Championships in July, Meinhardt cranked out his first direct elimination round win in a single period for a 15-8 victory over Ka Long Cheung (HKG) in the table of 64.

“The first tournament of the season, everyone always has some jitters, so I wanted to go out there and be really active and move a lot and my opponent was pushing as well so it just so happened that we end up going up and down the strip with each other, but it was a good bout and a good way to work my way back into the World Cup season,” Meinhardt said.

Meinhardt met 2012 Olympic silver medalist Alaaeldin Abouelkassem (EGY) in the table of 32 for the first time since winning their last bout at the 2014 Havana World Cup. Abouelkassem took a 6-3 lead, but Meinhardt came back to tie the bout at eight and the scored four touches in the last 30 seconds of the period to take the score to 12-8 going into the break. Meinhardt scored three of the next four touches in the second period to win the bout, 15-9.

“I tried to stay disciplined because Alaaeldin’s a really strong fencer. He’s quick and explosive, so I kind of had to hunker down and keep my actions small and move him up and down the strip a bit and it turned out well,” Meinhardt said.

In the table of 16, Meinhardt fenced four-time Senior World medalist Jianfei Ma (CHN) and slowed the pace down significantly as he took a 4-3 lead after the first and kept the score within one, trailing Ma, 7-6, in the second period.

“I was just trying to be a little more patient that bout. I didn’t feel great today, so I didn’t want to push it too much or get too wild. I didn’t want to rush things and it went pretty well for most of the bout,” Meinhardt said.

He scored a few good touches towards the middle and that kind of took me out of it. Time was running out and I had to rush the last few touches, so it didn’t go my way, but he’s a great fencer and it was a good bout.

Ma controlled the start of the third period to grow his lead to 11-7. With 27 seconds remaining in the bout, Meinhardt cut Ma’s lead to two at 12-10 with 27 seconds remaining in the bout, but couldn’t tie the score and lost the bout, 15-11.

“He scored a few good touches towards the middle and that kind of took me out of it. Time was running out and I had to rush the last few touches, so it didn’t go my way, but he’s a great fencer and it was a good bout,” Meinhardt said.

Meinhardt said he enjoyed the opportunity to fence so close to home and appreciated a crowd that often became standing room only when he fenced.

“It’s been great to see kids from my club and the local clubs as well as people who traveled here to watch and support us. We’re not used to being used to being at these World Cups and hearing the crowd go off when we score. We’re so often in Europe at events like the CIP in Paris and they always have tremendous crowds so it was awesome to see the turnout here and the excitement from our young fencers,” said Meinhardt

Meinhardt also noted that the tournament, which allows for at least 30 fencers to compete from the host country, is a great opportunity for younger fencers.

“A lot of them were doing really well yesterday. It was the first or second World Cup for a lot of our junior guys and they all did really well and a lot of them were really close to making the second day and even making it out of pools at these tournaments is tough,” he said.

Although 2015 Overall World Cup Champion Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) earned the tournament’s No. 1 seed, he still drew Valerio Aspromonte (ITA), a 2013 Senior World bronze medalist, in the first round. Imboden tied the bout at eight in the final minute of the first period and Aspromonte responded with two touches before the break.

Up 10-8 at the start of the second period, Aspromonte scored three more as he attempted to close out the bout. Imboden reeled off five straight to tie the bout at 13. After giving up another touch, Imboden closed out at 15-14.

Imboden drew 2014 Senior World bronze medalist Timur Safin (RUS) in the 32 and found himself trailing again, 13-9. This time, Safin held off Imboden for a 15-13 win.

The Russian would go on to finish the tournament undefeated to win gold with James Davis (GBR) taking silver and the duo of 2015 Senior World Champion Yuki Ota (JPN) and Jeremy Cadot (FRA) bringing home the bronze.

The six remaining U.S. team members who qualified for the second day were each eliminated in the table of 64.

Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), a 2015 Senior World medalist, lost a 15-13 bout to Roman Djitli – an Algerian fencer who made the top eight, but missed the podium when he had to withdraw from the bout, including 2012 Junior World Team Champion Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.) who lost to Abouelkassem, 14-8, in the 64.

Massialas’s London Olympic teammate, Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.), attempted a comeback against Alessandre Paroli (ITA) who was up by as many six touches at 10-4. Chamley couldn’t regroup against the Italian and lost the bout, 15-11.

Columbia freshman Nolen Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y.) pushed his table of 64 bout to the end, but, ultimately, lost to Takahiro Shikine (JPN), by a single touch at 15-14.

Two-time Junior World medalist Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.) was outdone by five-time Senior World Champion Peter Joppich (GER), 15-10.

David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.), a 2008 Senior World Team member, lost to Edoardo Luperi (ITA), a 2014 San Francisco World Cup medalist, by a score of 15-10.

Visit for full results on all fencers.

Competition continues on Saturday when Massialas, Chamley-Watson and Imboden will fence the teammate with Willette who is replacing Meinhardt in the lineup due to injury.

Top eight and U.S. results, including athletes who did not advance to the top 64 on Friday, are as follows:

San Jose Men’s Foil Individual World Cup
1. Timur Safin (RUS)
2. James Davis (GBR)
3. Jeremy Cadot (FRA)
3. Yuki Ota (JPN)
5. Alexey Cheremisinov (RUS)
6. Giorgio Avola (ITA)
7. Jianfei Ma (CHN)
8. Roman Djitli (ALG)

9. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
17. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
33. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
34. Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)
41. Nolen Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y.)
47. Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)
48. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
57. David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)
73. Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.)
74. Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
75. Julian Knodt (Palo Alto, Calif.)
87. Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.)
89. William Upbin (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
90. Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)
93. Gregory Mitberg (Beaverton, Ore.)
106. Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.)
108. Stephen Mageras (Darien, Conn.)
113. Adam Mathieu (Union City, N.J.)
123. Jason Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
127. Forrest MacDougall (Los Angeles, Calif.)
135. Lucas Orts (Burlingame, Calif.)
137. Michael Li (Palo Alto, Calif.)
141. Stuart Holmes (Centereach, N.Y.)
147. George Haglund (Califon, N.J.)
151. Sidarth Kumbla (San Jose, Calif.)
152. Eoin Gronningsater (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
161. David Hadler (San Francisco, Calif.)
164. Alexander Chiang (Atlanta, Ga.)
169. Raymond Chen (Dallas, Texas)
174. John Crumpler (Notre Dame, Ind.)
178. Jarred Gou (Saratoga, Calif.)

Tag(s): News  Race Imboden  Alexander Massialas  Gerek Meinhardt