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Senior Worlds Open with Preliminary Rounds on Thursday in Wuxi, China

07/18/2018, 11:45am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Former Senior World Champion Miles Chamley-Watson will fence in the preliminary rounds in Wuxi on Saturday, July 21. Photo Credit: Nicole Jomantas

(Wuxi, China) – The journey to the Senior World Championship podium will begin on Thursday when the first of three days of preliminary competition is held in the individual events of all three weapons.

While the top 16 fencers in each event are exempt from pools, hundreds of fencers will remain in the mix on the opening days of competition as they look to advance to the table of 64 rounds which will begin on Sunday, July 22.

The top 16 fencers after the pool rounds will automatically join the 16 exempt fencers to make the top 32 seeds in the table of 64. Those who survive the cut after pools will advance to the preliminary tables which will include single elimination rounds until the final 32 qualify for the remaining positions in the table of 64.

2018 Senior World Team Roster

2018 Senior World Championships Live Results

Of Team USA’s 24 athletes scheduled to compete in the individual events, nine members of Team USA are exempt from the preliminary rounds:

  • Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Men’s Foil World No. 1), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist and two-time Senior World team silver medalist
  • Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif. / Men’s Foil World No. 3), two-time Olympic medalist and three-time Senior World medalist
  • Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky. / Women’s Foil World No. 3), two-time Olympian and two-time Senior World medalist
  • Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass. / Men’s Saber World No. 3), 2016 Olympian
  • Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J. / Women’s Saber World No. 9), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist and 2014 Senior World Team Champion
  • Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif. / Men’s Foil World No. 11), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist and four-time Senior World medalist
  • Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas / Women’s Epee World No. 13), 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y. / Women’s Foil World No. 15), 2012 Olympian and 2017 Senior World team silver medalist
  • Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y. / Men’s Saber World No. 16), 2016 Olympic silver medalist and 2015 Senior World silver medalist

The following is a preview of the action for Team USA’s preliminary round fencers as well as the international competitors to watch when pools begin on Thursday (All times listed as China Standard Time, EDT +12:00):

Thursday, July 16
9 a.m. Women’s Individual Epee Pools and Preliminary Rounds

Three members of Team USA will fence in the pools and preliminary rounds. Ranked No. 31 in the world, 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) will fence at her 13th Senior World Championships with her older sister, Kelley Hurley. A silver medalist at the Cali Grand Prix in Colombia in May, the younger Hurley earned top-16 finishes at both the 2013 and 2015 Senior Worlds. Hurley’s Rio Olympic teammate, Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.), qualified for her first Senior Worlds in 2013 and went on to earn top-32 results at three of her first four Senior World appearances. Natalie Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.) qualified for her first Senior World Team at the age of 32 this season, but has been consistent in the early rounds all year, advancing to the second day in all five of her events on the World Cup circuit.

The pool rounds also will include several high profile fencers as Rosella Fiamingo (ITA) comes in as the No. 17 season after winning gold at the 2014 and 2015 Senior Worlds and silver in Rio. Nathalie Moellhausen (BRA) is ranked 18th as a 2010 Senior World bronze medalist and Katrina Lehis (EST) is 19th as the reigning European Champion.

Exemptions: Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), who won bronze in London with her younger sister Courtney, is exempt from pools as the No. 13 fencer in the world. Hurley retained her top-16 status going into the Senior Worlds after winning her fourth Pan American Championship title in June.

11:10 a.m. Men’s Individual Saber Pools and Preliminary Rounds

Two-time Senior World Team members Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.) and Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.) will each fence pools in Wuxi. A two-time NCAA Champion for Penn State, Mackiewicz will be returning to the Senior Worlds for the first time since 2014. Mackiewicz earned one of his best career results on the circuit in December when he placed 23rd at the Cancun Grand Prix. Loss, who earned his position on the team after Ben Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.) was injured last week, will attempt to make the jump from alternate to qualifying for the second day in his first international event since May.

Exemptions: Rio Olympians Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) and Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) are ranked No. 3 and No. 16 in the world, respectively. Dershwitz is aiming for his first Senior World medal after a season in which the Harvard senior has won four medals out of the last nine events. A silver medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2015 Senior Worlds, Homer took bronze at the Madrid World Cup in May and the Pan Am Championships in Havana in June.

The 2004 Olympic Champion, 39-year-old Aldo Montano (ITA), is now ranked No. 26 in the world. Five months away from his 40th birthday, Montano is now a four-time Olympian and father who could spoil the middle range of the pools for his opponents.

Friday, July 20
8:30 a.m. Women’s Individual Foil Pools and Preliminary Rounds

Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) will fence at her fifth Senior Worlds and Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will make an appearance at the event for the eighth year. Lu has consistently advanced from the preliminary rounds to the direct elimination rounds at all nine events on the World Cup circuit this year, frequently skipping directly from pools to the DEs and placing as high as 12th in Algiers. Prescod, who is fencing individually at the Senior Worlds for the first time since winning bronze in 2015, missed the podium in Algiers by one bout and earned bronze at the Pan Ams.

Exemptions: A 2011 Senior World medalist, Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) is ranked No. 3 in the world and has stood on the podium an astounding five times in her eight events this season. Her 2012 Olympic teammate, Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.), is No. 15 with two World Cup top-eights and a Pan Am bronze to her credit this season.

Astrid Guyart (FRA) earned a career-best fifth-place individual finish at the 2017 Senior Worlds and, despite only fencing three events during the leadup to the European Championships, posted another top-eight result to move up to No. 17 in the world. Forty-two-year-old Aida Muhammad (HUN) holds four Senior World individual medals and remains a constant threat to take out top fencers, placing eighth at the St. Maur World Cup in November and earning a top-32 finish at the 2017 Senior Worlds.

10:40 a.m. Men’s Individual Epee Pools and Preliminary Rounds

All four U.S. fencers will compete in the pools and preliminary rounds with only Rio Olympian Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio) having competed previously on the Senior World stage. Jake Hoyle (New York City, N.Y.), Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.) and Dennis Kraft (Bloomfield, N.J.) will each be making his Senior Worlds debut. Hoyle and McDowald each earned bronze at the Pan American Championships with McDowald also earning a top-eight finish at the Paris World Cup this season. The reigning National Champion, Kraft earned a top-32 at the Berne World Cup in Switzerland last fall.

Two-time Senior World medalist Kyoungdoo Park (KOR) is on the outside looking in as the No. 17 fencer who just missed an exemption after a season that include a bronze medal win at the Paris World Cup. A 2014 Senior World medalist, Enrico Garozzo (ITA) sits in 18th while two-time Senior World medalist Bas Verwijlen (NED) is now 22nd in the world.

Saturday, July 21
8:30 a.m. Men’s Individual Foil
Five years, ago, Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.) became one of the few people ever to go from pools to the top of the podium, but he beat the odds then and the two-time Olympian will be aiming to blaze through the pools and hopefully avoid running into his teammates in the early direct elimination rounds when the table of 64 begins on July 24.

Like Chamley-Watson, a number of sharks lie waiting in the pools as 2014 Senior World medalist Enzo Lefort (FRA), 2012 Olympic silver medalist Alaaeldin Abouelkassem (EGY) and four-time individual Senior World Champion Peter Joppich (GER) all want to put up big indicators.

Exemptions: Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) comes in looking to claim the double this season – winning Worlds and retaining his World No. 1 for the Overall World Cup title. Imboden won medals at four of this season’s nine events, including gold at the Absolute Fencing Gear® FIE Grand Prix Anaheim in May and the Pan Ams in June. A 2016 Olympic and 2015 Senior World silver medalist, Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) ended the last two seasons at No. 1 in the world and is seeking to improve on his top-eight result at the 2017 Senior Worlds. The only U.S. man ever to win two individual Senior World medals, Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) won bronze at the Tokyo World Cup in November and returned to the Pan Am podium with bronze in June.

10:40 a.m. Women’s Individual Saber
Both Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) and Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.) earned top-16 finishes at the Athens World Cup this year with each athlete reaching the podium at the Pan Ams as Stone won silver and Fox-Gitomer took bronze. Stone will be fencing at her fifth Senior Worlds following podium finishes in the team event in 2013, 2014 and 2015. A top-eight finisher at the 2018 Junior Worlds, Fox-Gitomer will be making her Senior World debut shortly before beginning her freshman year at Princeton – the school for which Stone won NCAAs in 2013. A bronze medalist in the team event in Rio, Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.) placed in the top-32 twice on the World Cup circuit and missed the podium at Zonals with a top-eight result.

Exemptions: Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) returned top the top-10 this season, moving up to a No. 9 world ranking when she followed two top-eights on the circuit with her first career individual Pan Am Championship title in June.

Seventeen-year-old Liza Pusztai (HUN) won her first Senior World Cup medal with a silver in Athens, less than a month before winning her second straight Cadet World Championship title. Italy’s Martina Criscio and Loreta Gulotta also will be top threats in the early rounds.  

Competition schedule is as follows (All times Chinese Standard Time):

Thursday, July 19
9 a.m.
Women’s Individual Epee Pools and Preliminary Tables

11:10 a.m.
Men’s Individual Saber Pools and Preliminary Tables

Friday, July 20
8:30 a.m.
Women’s Individual Foil Pools and Preliminary Tables

10:40 a.m.
Men’s Individual Epee Pools and Preliminary Tables

Saturday, July 21
8:30 a.m.
Men’s Individual Foil Pools and Preliminary Tables

10:40 a.m.
Women’s Individual Saber Pools and Preliminary Tables

Sunday, July 22
9:30 a.m.
Women’s Individual Epee Table of 64 – Finals

10:40 a.m.
Men’s Individual Saber Table of 64 – Finals

Monday, July 23
8:30 a.m.
Men’s Individual Epee Table of 64 – Finals

9:40 a.m.
Women’s Individual Foil Table of 64 – Finals

Tuesday, July 24
8:30 a.m.
Women’s Individual Saber Table of 64 – Finals
Women’s Team Epee Table of 32 – 16

10:10 a.m.
Men’s Individual Foil Table of 64 – Finals

10:30 a.m.
Men’s Team Saber Table of 32 – 16

Wednesday, July 25
8:30 a.m.
Men’s Team Epee Table of 64 – 16

9:20 a.m.
Women’s Team Foil Table of 32 – 16

12:20 p.m.
Women’s Team Epee Table of 8 – Finals

1:10 p.m.
Men’s Team Saber Table of 8 – Finals

Thursday, July 26
8:30 a.m.
Men’s Team Foil Table of 32 – 16

9:10 a.m.
Women’s Team Saber Table of 32 - 16

11:30 a.m.
Women’s Team Foil Table of 8 – Finals

12:30 p.m.
Men’s Team Epee Table of 8 – Finals

Friday, July 27
11 a.m.
Women’s Team Saber Table of 8 – Finals

Noon
Men’s Team Foil Table of 8 – Finals

The complete athlete roster is as follows:

Men’s Epee
Jake Hoyle (New York City, N.Y.)
Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.)
Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio)
Dennis Kraft (Bloomfield, N.J.)

Men’s Foil
Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Alex Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)

Men’s Saber
Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.)
Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)
Geoff Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.)

Women’s Epee
Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Individual Only: Natalie Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Team Only: Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)

Women’s Foil
Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)
Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)

Women’s Saber
Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
Individual Only: Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.)
Team Only: Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)

The staff roster is as follows:CLOSE

Chef de Mission
Sam Cheris (Aurora, Colo.)

Team Captain
Daria Schneider (Ithaca, N.Y.)

Team Leader
Kate Reisinger (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Sports Medicine
Jennifer Krug (Salem, Ore.)
Jeremy Summers (Mount Sinai, N.Y.)

Armorer
Ron Herman (Iowa City, Iowa)

Epee Director
Sebastien Dos Santos (St. Genes De Lombaud, France)

Men’s Epee Coach
Kornel Udvarhelyi (Glendale, N.Y.)

Men’s Foil Coach
Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Men’s Saber Coach
Zoran Tulum (Natick, Mass.)

Women’s Epee Coach
Andrey Geva (Houston, Texas)

Women’s Foil Coach
Buckie Leach (South Bend, Ind.)

Women’s Saber Coach
Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.)

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