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Bratton and Ramirez Win Medals, Earn Olympic Qualifying Points in Stockholm

01/13/2016, 4:19pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Top-eight finishers Ben Bratton, Yeisser Ramirez and Jason Pryor in Stockholm.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – While the World Cup circuit returns to action later this month, four U.S. men traveled to Sweden to compete in the Stockholm Satellite Tournament to earn qualifying points for the Rio Olympic Games on Saturday.

Although satellite tournaments are not used in U.S. rankings, top-eight finishes on the circuit are used in world ranking calculations which are used for qualification for countries who do not qualify a team in a particular weapon for Rio.   

With 104 competitors and two rounds of pools, points were at a premium in Stockholm and both three-time Senior World Team member Jason Pryor (Elyria, Ohio) and his 2015 teammate Yeisser Ramirez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) began the day with 6-0 finishes in the first round of pools while 2012 Senior World Team Champion Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.) went 5-1 and Lyle Wiemerslage (Athens, Ohio) finished 4-2.

Ramirez went undefeated in his second set of pools as well to take the No. 1 seed in the direct elimination tables. Pryor and Bratton each finished with 5-1 results and Wiemerslage also advanced with a 4-2 finish.

After byes through the table of 128, all four athletes earned wins in the table of 64.

Ramirez, Bratton and Pryor each fenced Swedish opponents whom they held to single digit scores. Ramirez and Bratton each earned 15-6 victories over Niklas Agerberg and Leonard Lund while Pryor defeated Martin Danielson, 15-4.

Wiemerslage also took on a Swedish fencer, winning his bout against Tor Forsse, 15-13.

In the table of 32, Pryor cruised through with a 15-3 win against Karl Harmenberg (SWE) and Bratton defeated Ludvig Hillestad (NOR), 15-12.

Ramirez and Wiemerslage both edged their opponents by 15-14 scores to post wins against Patrick Jorgensen (DEN) and Alexander Lahtinen (FIN), respectively.

The table of 16 brought three more wins for the Americans as Bratton defeated Adam Larsson (SWE), 15-6; Ramirez took a 15-9 victory over Kristian Radford (AUS); and Pryor bested Jean Lelion (CAN), 15-11.

Wiemerslage missed the quarters by three touches with a 15-12 loss to Jakob Stymne (SWE).

Advancing to the top eight meant that not only did Pryor, Ramirez and Bratton stand one win away from a medal, but each were guaranteed points in the Adjusted Olympic Rankings which will be used to select individual fencers for the Rio Games in the event that a fencer’s country doesn’t qualify to send a team.

Ramirez defeated Symne, 15-8, and Bratton won his bout against Fredrik Backer (NOR), 15-9.

Although Pryor lost to Juri Salm (EST), 15-12, he picked up a world ranking point, moving him up to being one point back from 2015 Pan Am silver medalist Maxime Brinck-Croteau (CAN) in the Adjusted Olympic Rankings with 41 points to Brinck-Croteau’s 42 with the top two fencers from the Pan American Zone who are not on teams that have otherwise qualified earning slots for the Rio Games.

In the semis, Bratton defeated Ramirez, 15-12. Ramirez earned two points, putting him four slots behind Pryor with 27.5 points.

Bratton took on Salm for gold, but the Estonian scored a single during the final encounter to win the bout, 15-14. Bratton earned the silver medal and three qualifying points, placing him just behind Pryor in the standings with 39.5.

Bratton, Pryor and Ramirez each have three international tournaments remaining to earn Olympic qualifying points for the AOR while the U.S. Men’s Epee Team will compete in the Heidenheim and Vancouver World Cups in January and February to earn a team position.

On Sunday, 2013 Pan Am Junior Team member Azaline Dunlap-Smith (Nottingham, N.H.) fenced in the women’s epee competition where she finished 3-3 in both rounds of pools, but lost to Dagmar Ciparova (SVK), 15-13, in the table of 64.  

Click here to view complete men’s results.

Click here to view complete women’s results.

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

Stockholm Men’s Epee Satellite Tournament
1. Juri Salm (EST)
2. Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.)
3. Yeisser Ramirez (Bronx, N.Y.)

3. Niko Vuorinen (FIN)
5. Fredrik Backer (NOR)
6. Jason Pryor (Elyria, Ohio)
7. Tomas Krasikovas (LTU)
8. Jakob Stymne (SWE)

14. Lyle Wiemerslage (Athens, Ohio)

Stockholm Women’s Epee Satellite Tournament
1. Nelli Paju (EST)
2. Emma Samuelsson (SWE)
3. Renata Knapik-Miazga (POL)
3. Kristina Kuusk (EST)
5. Julia Beljajeva (EST)
6. Erika Kirpu (EST)
7. Catharina Kock (FIN)
8. Paul Schmidl (AUT)

42. Azaline Dunlap-Smith (Nottingham, N.H.)

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