I finshed 7th out of 96 competitors from about 15 different countries. It’s a good start to the season, and hopefully I can build on this result. I defeated Simeonov (Bulgaria) in the top-64 15-6, then Dominik (Poland) 15-6 and Zanin (Russia) 15-10 before falling to individual Olympic Silver Medalist Lopez from France 9-15.
Lapkes (Belarus) took home the gold over Lopez and Verbackrakel (France) and Pryemko (Belarus) were 3rd. I have the top-4 matches on tape and will post when I get back to the states along with some more thoughts on the competition.
Gold Medal Match: Lopez (FRA) versus Lapkes (BLR)
James Williams lost in the top-64 to Tarchuk (Ukraine) 14-15.
Our next 2 competitions are back-to-back Grand Prix’s in Budapest and Moscow. I also just heard some awful news about our budget…more to come.
1/16/08)James Williams and I are the lone representatives for the USA at this world cup since most people are competing in the National competition in Kentucky. We arrived today and have been resting at our hotel. The competition starts tomorrow, but we both have byes until the second day so we’ll just be checking in our equipment tomorrow and practicing a bit.
The field is 90 fencers with competitors from Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine, Belarus, Germany, Poland, Britain, Iran, Greece and of course Turkey and a few others. There are no Asian countries and no Italy (except for a pair of Juniors), Romania or Hungary at this tournament, but it’s still early in the season and right after the Olympics.
On thing that is interesting about this trip is that we’re starting to see who is still continuing to fence and who isn’t. Pozniakov is retired, it looks like Dennis Bauer and Christian Kraus are also done according to the German coach, Lapkes is entered and fencing as are all the top Ukrainians including former world champion Lukashenko. I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to any of the other athletes yet, but I’m sure I’ll hear more about who is still fencing and isn’t over next few days.
One interesting note, there are two Israeli saber fencers entered into this tournament. This is the first time, I have ever been to a tournament with Israeli saber fencers.
James and I on the flight from NYC to Turkey before we departed
Top 16 Seeding at Istanbul:
1) Julien Pillet FRA 2) Buikevich BLR 3) Lopez (FRA) 4) Yakimenko RUS 5) Morehouse USA 6) Kovalev RUS 7) Lapkes BLR 8 ) Williams USA 9 ) Pryemko BLR 10) Anstett FRA 11) Beishem GER 12) Huebner GER 13) Lukashenko UKR 14) Apithy FRA 15) Koniusz POL 16) Darvishjani IRI
Iran had a world cup last week and no one but Iran and maybe 2 other countries attended so between that and the zoal there are several Iranians ranked fairly high in the world now.