Thailand World Cup Results: Igoe leads Team USA with Silver Medal. Morehouse 6th Place.

Pattaya, Thailand — The second half of the international fencing season kicked off with the world cup in Thailand.  Ben Igoe paced team USA with a 2nd place finish while Tim Morehouse finished 6th.  Both fencers bounced back from lackluster performances at the North American Fencing Cup in Virginia Beach to finish strongly.

Rhys Douglas and Mike Etropolski finished in the top-16.   Luther Clement, Brad Baker and Ewan Douglas went out in the round of 32.  The competition was small due to the political turmoil in the country.  only 42 competitors participated. 

The fourth team spot is still up for grabs with the potential retirement of James Williams.    Etropolski’s results places him into 5th place slightly ahead of Jason Rogers, Sean Buckley, Andrew Fishcl and Jeff Spear for what could be the final spot.   James Williams, now idle in the ranking, still remains 700 points ahead of Etropolski.

Thailand Fencing World Cup Day 1: US Fencers Advance from Small Field

Day 1 of the Thailand Fencing World Cup kicked off with the seeding round.  The competition is very small, about 40 competitors so there were only 4 seeding groups of 7 fencing today.    Mike Etropolski led the way going 6-0, with the rest of the US fencers, Rhys Douglas went 5-1 and Brad Baker, Luther Clement and Ewen Douglass all going 4-2.  Ben Igoe and Tim Morehouse both had byes.  Morehouse is ranked 2nd here and Igoe 4th.    Other notable fencers competing tomorrow with byes today are Iliasz, Decsi, Lontay of Hungary, Skrodzi, Kuniusz of Poland and Jansen of Venezuela.   The Iranians, Hong Kong, British, Philipines and Thai are also countries competing.
Tomorrow fencing resumes at 11am Thailand time or (10pm EST).   Morehouse and Igoe fence Thai fencers to make 32, Etropolski fences an Iranian fencer to make 16, Clement fences Abedini of Iran, Ewen Douglas fences Lam of Hong Kong, Baker fences a Thai fencer to make 32 and Rhys Douglas fences Hutchinson of Great Britain.

Thailand Fencing World Cup Kicks Off Tomorrow…

We spent the day checking out Pattaya and trying to stay awake so we’d get on a “normal” sleeping schedule.   It’s 13 hours ahead here from East Coast Time.   The competition starts tomorrow with the pools.   There are only about 40 fencers so only a few folks from our team are fencing.  Ben Igoe and I both have byes.
There are 3 Hungarians, 3 Polish, a couple of British fencers, Yakimenko, Japan is here and a few others making up the higher ranked fencers.    The competition is still very important for who will qualify for the final team spot now that James Williams has stopped fencing.   Mike Etropolski and Luther Clement both are in the running now.  Jason Rogers and Sean Buckley are also close to the 5th ranking (which would become 4 with James official retirement) but not competing here.
Ben and I still haven’t gotten our fencing bags and haven’t gotten an update yet.  Hoping they arrive before we have to fence on Sunday!
On another note, was cool to see billboards around town advertising the tournament and a lot of the newspapers had write-ups.  Go Thailand Fencing Federation! Way to promote!

Men’s Saber Results from North American Cup of Fencing in Virgina Beach: Homer Wins.

Virginia Beach, Virgina – National Team Member Daryl Homer claimed his 2nd North American Cup victory of the season by defeating Oleg Ochocki  15-11 in front of a crowd of several hundred spectators.
Sean Buckley and Andrew Fischl finished 3rd with Jason Rogers, Dan Bak, Luther Clement and Mike Etropolski rounding out the bottom 8.  #1 ranked usa fencer Tim Morehouse lost in the top-32 to Franz Bogichev of Germany #3 ranked Ben Igoe lost to Etropolski in the round of 16.  #2 ranked James Williams did not compete because he has taken a job at a Hedge Fund in San Francisco and his fencing career might be done.

On a personal Note:
Was a tough day for me losing so early.   I’m training as hard as I ever have and I’m in the best shape I’ve been in years, but sometimes in fencing if you don’t have the feeling for the distance all that matters not!   Usually I’m able to tough out those early round bouts when not fencing well, but Bogichev fenced a smart bout against me and so today was not meant to be.   No excuses, just back to work!

Luckily, I get to compete again in a few days since we’re leave for the Thailand World Cup…Hope to do better there and redeem myself nationally at the National Championships in July.  Congrats to all the fencers today!

Where in the World is Men’s Saber? (A: Budapest World Cup 2010!)

In case you were wondering, the US men’s saber team is now in Budapest, Hungary for the first Grand Prix of the season!  Just arrived today and competing tomorrow!

James Williams, Ben Igoe, Daryl Homer, Mike Etropolski, Andrew Fischl, Jeff Spear and myself make up the 8-man US contingent.   We arrived today, checked our equipment and just finished eating dinner down the street from our hotel.  Already in bed and preparing for battle!

There are 141 competitors from around the globe.   This is usually the hardest world cup of the season and pretty much everyone is here from China, Korea, France, Russia, Italy etc.  

This is the 2nd of 11 world cups for team USA to decide the US National Team which will compete at the World Championships in November in Paris, France.  The team is based on points accumulated at these events.  

Alexey Yakimenko  (former world #1) of Russia is still out with an injured knee and will not compete.

Ben Igoe , currently ranked 16 in the world, finished 3rd here last year and will need to have a strong result to maintain that ranking since this competition is making up a large portion of his international points.

Andrew Fischl is making his Grand Prix debut for Team USA.

Ben Igoe (ranked 16th) and Tim Morehouse (ranked 15th) have a bye from day 1 competition

Former World Champion Lukashenko of Ukraine is coaching the Japanese team.

 ** Tomorrow is the first day of competition and there will be 3 rounds of pools at 9am, 10:30am and noon followed by direct elimination bouts to determine 48 competitors moving onto the second day and who will join the worlds top-16.   Sunday is team event.

I will be twittering live action at:

Amazing Race, Jet Lag and Tunis Pictures

Team USA in Tunis
Team USA in Tunis

Ahhh, recovering from jet lag is always a fun process.  I’m not usually someone who rises at 4am in the morning!

It’s been 2 weeks since we applied for the Amazing Race and still no word…

That might be a bad sign.  If we are going to hear it will definitely be soon because the interview dates they gave start this Friday and run for a week.

Fingers are still crossed for an interview!

The Schwarma!
The Schwarma!