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Jason Pryor Places 26th in Vancouver, Broadens Olympic Qualification Lead

02/19/2016, 4:00am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Jason Pryor (left) moved up in the Olympic rankings this weekend. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE / FencingPhotos.com

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio) earned his third top-32 result of the Olympic qualification season on Saturday at the Vancouver Men’s Epee World Cup in Canada.

Pryor finished the pool rounds with a 4-1 record on Friday and became the only U.S. fencer to advance to the second day of competition after he defeated Volodymyr Stankevych (UKR), 15-8, in the 16.

In the table of 64, Pryor scored three straight to open his bout against Erwan Fonson (FRA) and finished the first period at 8-4. Pryor held a 13-10 lead after the second and closed out with a 15-12 win.

Although 2004 Olympic medalist Gabor Boczko (HUN) held a 4-2 lead after the first period of their table of 32 bout, Pryor tied the bout at seven in the second. With Pryor up, 10-9, going into the final minute, the pace increased when Boczko scored two singles. Pryor was unable to catch the Hungarian who took the win, 15-13.

Pryor earned four points in the world rankings for his 26th place finish, allowing him to move into first place in the Olympic qualifying rankings for the Americas Zone and passing 2015 Pan Am silver medalist Maxime Brinck-Croteau (CAN).

Pryor’s teammate, 2012 Senior World Team Champion Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.) sits in third place in the Americas where a maximum of two individuals can qualify for the Rio Olympic Games with one per nation.

On Sunday, the U.S. Men’s Epee Team’s bid to qualify a team for Rio came to an end with a 12th place result on a day when Team USA would have needed a gold to earn a position in Rio. Pryor and Bratton would be joined in the competition by their 2015 Senior World teammates Yeisser Ramirez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Jimmy Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Team USA began with a critical 45-36 win against Poland in the table of 32 with Ramirez outscoring his opponents 16-9, in three bouts, including a 5-4 anchor win against Krzysysztof Mikolajczak.

In the table of 16, Team USA took on Ukraine – the 2015 Senior World Team Champions. Although Ramirez won the anchor bout, 12-8, against Anatoliy Herey, Team USA lost the match, 44-37.

The lost put Team USA out of contention for Rio, but three matches remained to determine placing at the event.

In the 9th – 16th place table, Team USA fenced Venezuela – the team that had just secured its position in Rio. Ramirez closed the match with a 5-4 in against 2012 Olympic Champion Ruben Limardo to give Team USA a bittersweet 25-24 victory.

The Americans would fence Switzerland in the next round, tying the bout against the reigning Senior World team bronze medalists at 18 after eight bouts. Two-time Senior World team medalist Max Heinzer outscored Ramirez, 12-9, in the anchor bout and Switzerland took the win, 30-27.

In the final match of the day, Korea held a 35-33 lead after the first seven bouts, but outscored Moody and Ramirez, 10-2, to win the match, 45-35.

With the focus now on which American will secure the individual berth to the Rio Games, two tournaments remain in the Olympic qualifying process – the Sofia Satellite Tournament in Bulgaria (March 12-13) and the Budapest Grand Prix in Hungary (March 18-20).

Click here to view complete results.

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

Vancouver Men’s Individual Epee World Cup
1. Enrico Garozzo (ITA)
2. Constantin Boehm (GER)
3. Sangyoung Park (KOR)
3. Yuval Shalom Freilich (ISR)
5. Pavel Sukhov (RUS)
6. Vadim Anokhin (RUS)
7. Elmir Alimzhanov (KAZ)
8. Jean-Michel Lucenay (FRA)

26. Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio)
69. Yeisser Ramirez (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
88. Alen Hadzic (New York City, N.Y.)
102. Adam Maczik (Concord, Mass.)
106. Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.)
127. Dwight Smith (Elmont, N.Y.)
137. Alex Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.)
141. Dylan Nollner (Ogden, Utah)
162. Justin Dion (North Attleboro, Mass.)
165. Jimmy Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
177. Joey Rafidi (Mountain View, Calif.)
184. Cooper Schumacher (Parsippany, N.J.)

Vancouver Men’s Epee Team World Cup
1. Hungary
2. Kazakhstan
3. Ukraine
4. Estonia
5. Italy
6. Germany
7. France
8. Japan

12. USA

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