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Epee Grand Prix Opens Rio Olympic Test Event this Weekend

04/21/2016, 9:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Kelley Hurley (right) at the 2015 Rio de Janeiro Grand Prix where she won bronze. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – The five epee fencers who will represent Team USA at the Rio Olympic Games in August will get a sneak preview of the competition venue during the Rio de Janeiro Epee Grand Prix this weekend.

Ninety-three women and 128 men will fence in the final Grand Prix which will serve as one of two test events before the Olympic Games in Carioca Arena 3 in the Olympic Park.

In addition to being an opportunity to fence in the Olympic venue, the Grand Prix also is a point tournament for seeding at the Games.

On the women’s side, the U.S. squad includes the four athletes who have qualified for Rio, including 2012 Olympic medalists Courtney and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), first-time team member Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) and team replacement athlete Katarzyna Trzopek (Redwood Hills, Calif.)

Due to their top-16 seeds at the start of the Grand Prix, Holmes and Kelley Hurley are exempt from the preliminary rounds and will advance directly to the table of 64 on Saturday. This will be the first time Holmes has earned an exemption while Hurley comes into this tournament as the 2015 Rio Grand Prix bronze medalist.

As the prelims will be held across town in the EsEFEx Arena on Saturday, Courtney Hurley, Trzopek and former National Champion Natalie Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.) will need to advance through the pools and preliminary tables for a shot at fencing in the Olympic arena.

The men’s event also will begin on Friday with 2016 Olympian Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) fencing in the pools and preliminary tables with 2015 Senior World Team member Ariel Simmons (Bellaire, Texas), Dennis Kraft (Bloomfield, N.J.), Alen Hadzic (West Orange, N.J.) and Lewis Weiss (Houston, Texas).

At the conclusion of the men’s early rounds, 64 athletes will advance to the direct elimination rounds on Sunday at Carioca Arena 3.

Results will be updated live at

On Monday, men’s saber and women’s foil will take the stage in Rio when the tables of 32 and 16 will be held for the World Team Championships.

Entrants lists for the World Team Championships can be found here:

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