Interview with French National Coach Jean-Philippe Daurelle “We Shall Give it our Best” | Fencing.Net has a press release on this weekend’s Men’s Saber Grand Prix in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and an interview translated into english the French National Coach.  (

Few days before the GP in Plovdiv we visit with Jean-Philippe Daurelle, France MS National Coach.

Q: What is your state of mind three days before the first competition of an especially important season?
J-P D: “Our state of mind is that of people who gave their best at every moment in their preparation and are determined to give it all.”

Q: How do you rate the physical and mental condition of your sabreurs?
J-P D: “I am optimistic about our progress and impatient to see them on the strip.”

Q: What message/mission do you convey to them during training?
J-P D: “I try to convey a message of efficiency, accuracy, reflection, so that they can go all out on the strip during the competition.”

Q: Did you adopt a specific training technique to beat the best sabreurs and if so what is it?
J-P D: “Our bet was to improve, to capitalize on our strong points with a repertoire of touches capable to create problems to anyone, rather than dissecting the game of those who currently are the best.”

Q: You start the season with the Plovdiv Grand Prix which does not include a team competition. What is your main objective in Bulgaria?
J-P D: “Winning bouts to increase the level of confidence of the group.”

Q: Are you going to select the team which will compete in Padua February 18 based only on the individual results in Plovdiv?
J-P D: “The team will be announced after Plovdiv taking into account the results in Plovdiv but also what the selection committee has observed during the past several weeks of training and in the national competitions to come up with the strongest team possible.”

Q: During this season which looks to be very challenging, did you plan training session in other countries similar to what you did last year in Canada?
J-P D: “The Germans came over here last week and we will go over there for a week in February.”

Q: What do you say to those who already believe that you will not succeed in qualifying the team for the London Olympics?
J-P D: “A fencer who is down and who wants to compete at a high level must give it all until the last moment. Sometimes he must face one who is stronger than him and sometimes thanks to his persistence and by not giving up, what looked to be impossible becomes possible. We shall give our best!”

Interview by Denis Goran

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USA Today Predicts Nicholas Limbach (GER) to win Gold in London 2012 in Men’s Saber

USA Today has there Olympic predictions online today for all sports for the London 2012 Games.    They have Nicolas Limbach of Germany winning Gold with Aldo Montano taking the Silver.

They have me as the highest US Finisher in 47th place…I don’t even think there are 47 competitors so not sure how they are making these predictions.

Check out fencing and every sport at the link below:

What do you think of there predictions?

Fencing Masters NYC: My Review and What’s Next

The last few weeks since Fencing Masters NYC I’ve spent closing things out as well as beginning practice for this upcoming season, but I wanted to take some time to give a quick review of how I think things went and to discuss what’s ahead…

To put it into perspective, our mission was to prove that fencing has a large enough fan-base to hold large scale events, that fencing CAN (And Should!) be on TV in the USA, to create a quality platform for the sport that corporate sponsors would be interested in supporting and to help financially support Olympic hopefuls.

Overall Grade: B+/A-

The Good:

  • We proved that there is a market for Fencing: 1800+ people attended, the majority of which had a good time watching our great sport
  • Fencing was on TV in the USA! And, can easily do it again and do so on a national scale with the right kind of support behind it
  • Sponsors ARE Interested in our sport: Nike, Fortress Financial, BNP Paribas, BisroMD Sport and others provided product, money and other support for the event
  • Good Local Media Exposure/Some National:We had appearances on 4 local NY mornings shows, Bloomberg news, a photo shoot with V Man magazine, Shape Magazine and Access Hollywood did write ups, Sports Business Journal and others here and there.
  • Athletes Got money! When all is said and done we will have provided over 20k to athletes in a sport where athlete’s don’t get a lot of financial support
  • A Track Record to Build On: Perhaps most importantly, we now will have some great data, pictures, videos and marketing materials to approach sponsors for additional funds in future years to to the even.
  • The Kids! 2 schools are starting after-school fencing programs thanks to some of the assemblies we did in promotion of the event.  Seeing so many young kids at the event enjoying themselves was the most inspiring part for me and hopefully we’ll see more people starting to fence as a result!

Things to Improve:

  • Event Check-in: We had  close to 400 walk-ups and could have done a better job getting everyone in at the start of the event (as a side-note, it was kind of cool to have a line down the block for a fencing tournament!)
  • Stage Production: We did the event on a shoe-string budget so there were things we would have done with the stage which would have made it look better for TV.  I think for the  in-person crowd with the replay-screens, FM Logo it looked good.
  • Television Production: with all the organization that went into pulling off the event, selling tickets, we could have done a better job with the TV side of the production.  I view this year’s broadcast as a starting point. Something to build on.  Clear things we can do better and will!
  • Organization of the Expo: Jeff Spear did an amazing job running the Expo Championship portion, but we could have been more organized directing people to the various stations and understanding the number of stations, where they should be etc.

Thoughts For Moving Forward:

  • I’d like to do the event again, but with the London 2012 Olympics closing fast, my #1 priority will (and has been) training and I want to make sure it won’t take away from my training/competing.
  • Over the Next 3 months, I will be updating our sponsorship/marketing packets with data, pictures etc. from the event and approaching sponsors about funding for 2011.  If I can get additional funds from sponsors to take some of the financial stress off of doing the event again then it will likely happen again.  This time around, I assumed most of the financial risk and while this was worth it to get it off the ground, it is not sustainable for the long term.
  • Fencing in the USA: HAS AN UNBELIEVABLE POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH RIGHT NOW!  The iron is hot, we have an amazing community, new clubs/school programs opening all the time, great athletes like Mariel Zagunis, young/amazing foil team etc.  We can be something more, but we must have a BIG VISION and EXECUTE! We will grow as big as we believe we can grow. Period.

Things to Add/Change/Goals (Just thinking out loud!)

  • Adding 2 more women saber fencers so we can do an expo tournament for the women’s saber fencers
  • Provide cash prizes to “up the ante” of the fencing
  • More National Television and Media Coverage
  • Nationally Televised

Grade, B+/A-…
Inaugural event and one in a sport that hasn’t had events like this in our country. We got fencing on TV for the first time since 1980s.  Things to improve, but great starting point!

Thanks to everyone for your support! Please feel free to send thoughts/comments/ideas to me! Always welcomed!

US Fencers Mariel Zagunis and Tim Morehouse Win at Inaugural Fencing Masters NYC before 1800 spectators

New York, NY — The inaugural Fencing Masters NYC saw 2-time Olympic champion Mariel Zagunis and USA Olympic Silver Medalist Tim Morehouse captured the championships before a crowd of 1800+ at Hammerstein Ballroom.

Mariel Zagunis defeated Ukraine’s Olga Kharlan in a match that pitted the world’s #1 and #2 ranked fencer’s against each other.  In the men’s side, USA Team Member Daryl Homer defeated Olympic Silver Medalist Nicolas Lopez of France in the quarter-finals and then ’04 Olympic Champion Aldo Montano in the semi-finals before falling to Morehouse in the finals 11-15.

US Olympic Silver Medalist Tim Morehouse defeat Alex O’connell of Britain in the quarter-finals, followed by a victory over Jaime Marti of Spain, who had earlier defeated Ben Igoe in the quarters, setting up the All-USA final with Morehouse and Homer.

The Expo Championship tournament was won by Dan Bak who nearly pulled off an upset against Olympic Champion Aldo Montano of Italy in the Quarter-Finals.  Bak lost 15-14 in closely contested match-up.  Earlier, Dan Bak defeated St. John’s Sean Buckley in the finals of the Expo Championship.  16 competitors from around the country came to compete for the opportunity to fence in the main event.

The amazing Chelsea Chris sung the National Anthem and comedian Chris Destefano emceed before a crowd that included  20+ USA Fencing Olympians, Olympic gold medalist speed skater Joey Cheek, CSI’s Gerald McCullough and others.

The Fencing Masters NYC will air on television on SNY on Dec. 5th.  It will be the first televised USA Fencing tournament in the USA (non-Olympic) since the 1980s.  More information to come on the telecast.