skip navigation

Chamley-Watson Wins Silver in Bonn, Meinhardt and Massialas Lock Spots for Rio

02/09/2016, 6:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Miles Chamley-Watson (far left) won silver in Bonn and moved up to No. 3 in the National Team Standings. Photo Credit: Olaf Wolf

Alexander Massialas (left) and Gerek Meinhardt (pictured with Coach Greg Massialas at the 2015 Senior Worlds) secured the first two positions on the U.S. Men's Foil Team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Men’s Olympic Foil Team came one step closer to being finalized at the Bonn World Cup in Germany this weekend with Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.) winning silver in the individual event and his 2012 Olympic teammates Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) and Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) mathematically qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Although the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team will not be formally nominated to the U.S. Olympic Committee until April, 2015 Senior World medalists Meinhardt and Massialas have each earned enough points on the National Team Point Standings to secure their nominations with two events remaining in the qualification season.

Meinhardt placed fifth in Bonn – earning his third top-eight finish on the World Cup circuit since taking bronze at the Senior World Championships in July. The two-time Olympian and three-time Senior World medalist won three straight direct elimination bouts to qualify for the quarter-finals, defeating Taegyu Ha (KOR), 15-8; Johannes Poscharnig (AUT), 15-9; and Alexandre Sido (FRA), 15-6. In the quarters, Meinhardt made a late run in the third period against Erwan Le Pechoux (FRA), scoring three straight touches as the clock ran down before the four-time Senior World Team Champion took the bout, 15-12.

Massialas finished 17th after a 15-2 win over Jan Krejcik (CZE) in the 64 and a 15-7 loss to Le Pechoux in the 32.

Both Massialas and Meinhardt climbed the World Rankings where Massialas regained his No. 1 position and Meinhardt moved up to sixth.

Meinhardt is now ranked No. 1 in the National Team Point Standings, followed by Massialas in the No. 2 position. The top four athletes in the standings at the conclusion of the USA Fencing Division I National Championships, April 8-11 in Richmond, Va., will earn nominations to the U.S. Olympic Men’s Foil Team.

Chamley-Watson, a 2013 Senior World Champion and 2012 Olympian, came into the Bonn World Cup ranked fourth in the National Team Point Standings behind his London teammate Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Chamley-Watson won his table of 64 bout by a 15-6 score against Siu Lun Cheung (HKG) and defeated Dmitry Komissarov (RUS), 15-9, in the 32. Chamley-Watson took a 15-12 win over Marcus Mepstead (GBR) in the 16 to qualify for the quarters.

Many expected a quarter-final showdown between Chamley-Watson and Imboden in the table of 16, but Imboden’s first round loss to 2011 Junior World Champion Edoardo Luperi (ITA), 15-14, meant Chamley-Watson would take on the Italian. With the score tied at four in the first period, Chamley-Watson outscored Luperi, 4-1, to hold an 8-5 lead at the break and held on to the three-touch margin for a 15-12 win.

With a podium finish guaranteed and the knowledge that he had passed Imboden in the standings, Chamley-Watson led LePechoux, 9-7, after the first period and held off a late run by his opponent to win the bout, 15-13.

In the finals, 2014 European Champion James Davis (GBR) jumped out to a 6-0 lead early in the first period. Chamley-Watson cut his deficit to three touches at 10-7, but Davis earned the win, 15-9, in the second period.

Now ranked No. 10 in the world, Chamley-Watson’s destiny will be in his own hands next month at the Havana Grand Prix where he will be seeking to claim the third position on the U.S. Men’s Foil Team for the Rio Olympic Games.

Imboden, however, has brought home gold from Cuba before and will attempt to repeat his past performance to regain the No. 3 position on Team USA with the athlete who finishes fourth in the standings earning a position as a replacement athlete who may be used for the team event in Rio.

All four members of the U.S. Men’s Foil Team are currently ranked among the top 10 in the world with Massialas, Meinhardt and Imboden each having held the World No. 1 since 2014. Formerly ranked No. 2 in the world, Chamley-Watson became the first U.S. man to win an individual Senior World title in 2013. 

On Sunday, Massialas, Meinhardt, Chamley-Watson and Imboden fenced in the team event. With Team USA already guaranteed a position in the Games, the pressure was off for the U.S. Men’s Foil Team, but the squad came in as the top-ranked team in the Adjusted Olympic Rankings after three straight podiums on the circuit, including two golds.

After a bye into the table of 16, Team USA defeated Poland, 45-29.

In the quarter-finals, Team USA met China – medalists at both the 2014 and 2015 Senior World Championships. The Americans built a 36-31 lead after eight bouts, but Haiwei Chen began chipping away at the lead from the start and went on a seven-touch run to threaten Team USA’s win. With China up, 40-38, late in the bout, Massialas scored two touches in the final 10 seconds to tie the match at 40 and send the match into overtime. Chen scored first in the sudden death period to take a 41-40 victory.

Team USA regrouped to defeat Korea, 45-33, in the 5th – 8th place table and finished fifth overall after a 45-39 win against a Japanese team led by 2015 Senior World Champion Yuki Ota.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Bonn Men’s Individual Foil World Cup
1. James Davis (GBR)
2. Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)
3. Daniele Garozzo (ITA)
3. Erwan Le Pechoux (FRA)
5. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
6. Lorenzo Nista (ITA)
7. Haiwei Chen (CHN)
8. Edoardo Luperi (ITA)

17. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
34. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
66. Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.)
125. David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)
147. Gregory Mitberg (Beaverton, Ore.)
212. Duncan Rheingans-Yoo (Watertown, Mass.)

Bonn Men’s Team Foil World Cup
1. Russia
2. Italy
3. France
4. China
5. USA
6. Japan
7. Korea
8. Germany

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