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Race Imboden Regains World No. 1 Ranking with Bronze in Shanghai

05/22/2018, 12:15am CDT
By Kristen Henneman

Race Imboden (second from right) won his second Grand Prix medal of the season in Shanghai to climb to No. 1 in the world rankings. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi / FIE

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – With a bronze medal at the Shanghai Foil Grand Prix on Sunday, Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has risen once again to the position of top men’s foil fencer in the world.

The third medal on the Senior World Cup circuit this season for Imboden, including his second straight at a Grand Prix after taking gold in Anaheim, the 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist claimed the No. 1 World Ranking for the second time in his career.

He was last No. 1 at the end of the 2014-15 season when he became the first men’s foilist to win an overall World Cup title and just the second men’s foil fencer ever to take the top ranking.

Exempt from pools as the No. 2 seed, Imboden easily handled his first two bouts, cruising past Wallerand Roger (FRA) – a two-time medalist at the Junior European Championships – by a score of 15-6 and then taking a 15-8 victory over Julien Mertine (FRA), who won bronze at the Paris World Cup earlier this year.

In the table of 16, Imboden faced teammate Sidarth Kumbla (San Jose, Calif.), who was coming off a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in Verona last month.

Imboden defeated Kumbla, 15-7, before besting the bronze medalist from Tokyo earlier this season in Edoardo Luperi (ITA), 15-10, to guarantee a medal.

Looking for a place in the final, Imboden took on Olympic and World bronze medalist, Timur Safin (RUS). Imboden last beat Safin in the quarter-finals at the Anaheim Grand Prix en route to his gold, but this time, Safin earned the victory, 15-10.

With the bronze, Imboden also improved to No. 1 in the USA Fencing Rolling Point Standings.

At No. 2 in the standings is 2016 Olympic silver medalist Alex Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) Despite falling in the table of 64 in Shanghai, Massialas climbed to No. 2 in the FIE World Rankings, marking the first time that Team USA has featured the top two fencers in the world in men’s foil.

A teammate of Imboden and Massialas in Rio, Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) earned a top-eight result in Shanghai.

After edging out Vincent Simon (FRA), 15-13, in the 64 and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Kyosuke Matsuyama (JPN), 15-11, in the 32, Meinhardt drew 2017 World Team Champion and the world’s No. 1 fencer entering the tournament, Alessio Foconi (ITA).

Meinhardt stole the bout, 15-9, giving him his first career victory over Foconi, who was trying for his fifth medal on the circuit this season.

Meinhardt looked for the same accomplishment in the quarter-finals against Foconi’s teammate, three-time Olympic medalist Andrea Cassara (ITA), but came up short, 15-12.

Finishing in the top 16 on the senior World Cup circuit for the first time in his career was Kumbla. Going 4-2 in pools on Saturday, he earned a bye into the preliminary table of 64, where he overcame teammate Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), 15-11, to secure a spot in Sunday’s competition.

In the table of 64, Kumbla upset 2012 Olympic Team Champion and 2011 World Championship bronze medalist, Giorgio Avola (ITA), by a score of 15-9.

Kumbla continued to roll in the 32, edging out Dong Jin Han (KOR), 13-11, before his run would come to an end in the 16 at the hands of Imboden.

The fourth member of the 2016 Rio Olympic Team, Miles Chamley-Watson (New York, N.Y.), ended the day with a top-32 result while Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.) finished in the top 64 along with Massialas.

In the women’s competition, Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.) claimed a top-eight result on the Senior World Cup circuit for the first time in her career.

On Friday, Dubrovich went 5-1 in pools and held Marta Hausman (POL) to single digits at 15-9 to advance to Sunday.

After defeating Adelina Zagidullina (RUS), 15-12, in the table of 64, Dubrovich secured a place in the quarter-finals with victories over two Polish fencers. She first dominated her table of 32 bout against Marika Chrzanowska (POL), 15-6, before overcoming Julia Walczyk (POL), 15-12.

In the quarters, Dubrovich’s career day came to an end with a 12-5 loss to Eleanor Harvey (CAN).

London Olympian Nicole Ross (New York, N.Y.) finished 10th. Starting her competition off with an easy 15-8 victory over Jeromine Mpah-Njanga (FRA) in the 64, Ross then edged out Beatrice Monaco (ITA), 15-13.

But in the 16, Ross dropped her bout, 15-7, to Song Oh Chae (KOR), who went on to win bronze.

Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the 2017 Junior World bronze medalist, claimed a top 32 result. In addition, two-time Olympian Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), 2017 World team silver medalist Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) and Rio Olympian Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each finished in the top 64.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Shanghai Men’s Foil Grand Prix
1. Richard Kruse (GBR)
2. Timur Safin (RUS)
3. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Andrea Cassara (ITA)
5. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
6. Edoardo Luperi (ITA)
7. Francesco Trani (ITA)
8. Carlos Llavador (ESP)

16. Sidarth Kumbla (San Jose, Calif.)
23. Miles Chamley-Watson (New York, N.Y.)
33. Alex Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
41. Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
46. Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.)
65. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
70. Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)
79. Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
108. Adam Mathieu (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
140. Hans Kaiser (Detroit, Mich.)

Shanghai Women’s Foil Grand Prix
1. Inna Deriglazova (RUS)
2. Karin Miyawaki (JPN)
3. Eleanor Harvey (CAN)
3. Song Oh Chae (KOR)
5. Alice Volpi (ITA)
6. Ines Boubakri (TUN)
7. Leonie Ebert (GER)
8. Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.)

10. Nicole Ross (New York, N.Y.)
22. Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
33. Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
41. Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
48. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
75. Jessie Laffey (Glen Ridge, N.J.)
93. Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)
119. Adrienne Nott (Philadelphia, Pa.)
120. Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.)

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