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National Championships to Open on Thursday with 5,000+ Entrants in St. Louis

06/27/2018, 10:45am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Two-time Senior World medalist Nzingha Prescod (left) will fence in St. Louis as the reigning Division I Women's Foil National Champion. Photo Credit: Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The 2018 USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge could be the largest fencing event in history with more than 5,000 fencers registered for the 10-day competition that runs from June 28 – July 7 in St. Louis.

The tournament will include athletes competing in 78 individual and 12 team events with competitors ranging in age from 7 to 83 years old. All three weapons – epee, foil and saber – will be contested.

Competition will be held at the America’s Center Convention Complex in Halls 2-5. Admission is free and open to the public.

View Complete Schedule, Seeding and Live Results

The National Championships are open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only with athletes representing 47 states. The July Challenge is an international event that will include fencers from 40+ countries.

National Championship Events: Division IA, Division II, Division III, Veteran Age Group, Y14, Y12, Y10
July Challenge Events: Division I, Junior, Cadet, Senior Team, Veteran Team

Senior men’s team epee remains the most popular team competition with 58 squads entered in the event on July 29. Y14 men’s foil is the largest individual event with 333 entries.

The Division I events at the July Challenge will be highlighted by Olympic and World medalists with the following fencers scheduled to compete:

  • Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y. / Men’s Saber), 2016 Olympic silver medalist and 2015 Senior World silver medalist
  • Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J. / Women’s Saber), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist and 2014 Senior World Team Champion
  • Ines Boubakri (TUN / Women’s Foil), 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and 2014 Senior World bronze medalist
  • Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y. / Men’s Epee), 2012 Senior World Team Champion and two-time Olympian
  • Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y. / Men’s Epee), 2012 Senior World Team Champion
  • Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Women’s Foil), two-time Senior World medalist and two-time Olympian
  • Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y. / Women’s Foil), 2017 Senior World team silver medalist and 2012 Olympian
  • Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn. / Women’s Foil), 2017 Senior World team silver medalist
  • Aleksandra Shelton (POL / Women’s Saber), 2003 Senior World bronze medalist and four-time Olympian

Finals sessions will be held for all Division I July Challenge events in St. Louis. Athletes will have the opportunity to be showcased during a special finals presentation and fencing family and fans will know in advance when the medal events will be held on the finals stage.

The finals schedule is as follows:

Thursday, June 28
1:30 p.m.
Division I Women’s Foil Semis and Gold Medal Final

7 p.m.
Division I Men’s Epee Semis and Gold Medal Final

Saturday, June 30
2 p.m.
Division I Men’s Saber Semis and Gold Medal Final

9 p.m.
Division I Women’s Epee Semis and Gold Medal Final

Sunday, July 1
2 p.m.
Division I Men’s Foil Semis and Gold Medal Final

6:30 p.m.
Division I Women’s Saber Semis and Gold Medal Final

Summer Nationals also will serve as the final selection event for the 2018 Veteran World Championships. Squads of four athletes will be named in 50-59, 60-69 and +70 age categories to represent Team USA at the Vet Worlds which will be held in Livorno, Italy from Oct. 9-14.

For the first time, fencing fans will have the opportunity to visit a USA Fencing Fan Zone. With interactive photo backdrops to commemorate the National Championships, opportunities to try fencing (including wheelchair fencing), athlete autograph sessions and interactive athlete comparison tests, the USA Fencing Fan Zone will offer a fun experience for fencers, family and spectators. The Fan Zone also will include a theater showing fencing movies, an informational video pod and a traveling exhibit from the Museum of American Fencing.

The Daugherty Innovation Zone will showcase how technology is transforming fencing and the world of sports at large with exhibits from Oculus, BodiTrak, Absolute Fencing, Leon Paul, J.S. Hart, Reely, T-Rex and more.

More than 50 fencers from throughout St. Louis who will have the opportunity to take on the nation’s best in their hometown.

Fencers train at clubs throughout St. Louis with athletes from The Fencers Academy, Parkway Fencing Club, Buccaneer Blades Fencing Club, Academy Fencing Club, Eagle Fencing Academy, Fencers of the Corn and St. Louis University Fencing Club each qualifying athletes for the USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge.

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