7 USA Fencers Advance at Trofeo Luxardo Men’s Saber World Cup

Padua, Italy — The largest men’s saber world cup in 8 years (160+ fencers) saw 7 of the 12 team USA men’s saber fencers advance on day 1.    Tim Morehouse (6-0) and Jeff Spear (5-1) advanced directly from the pools to the 64 by finishing in the top-16.   Daryl Homer (4-1), Ben Igoe (4-2), James Williams (4-2), Avery Zuck (4-2) and Mike Etropolski (3-3) all advanced out of the pools and defeated strong opponents to in direct elimination matches to advance.

In the elimination matches to make top-64, Ben Igoe beat Pundyk (UKR) 15-9, James Williams defeated Boyko (UKR)15-14 , Daryl Homer defeated Mokretsov (RUS)  (15-12), Mike Etropolski defeated Gelatanu (ROM) 15-13 and Avery Zuck defeated Mayer (CAN) 15-10.

Andrew Fischl, John Jalesky and Oleg Ochocki failed to advanced from the pools and Dan Bak fell in his second elimination match to advance.

Team USA fences again in the top-64 tomorrow.   In the first round, Ben Igoe faces off against Montano (ITA), Homer fencers Decsi (HUN), Williams fences Kim (KOR), Tim Morehouse fences Hartung (GER), Jeff Spear fences Riccadeli (ITA),  Mike Etropolski fences Tarrantino (ITA) and Avery Zuck fences Kovalev (RUS).


World Cup Circuit #1 | Plovdiv, Bulgaria Starts Tomorrow

The 2011 International men’s saber Fencing Season kicks off tomorrow morning with the start of the world cups in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Team USA has 7 fencers here:  Daryl Homer, Tim Morehouse, James Williams, Ben Igoe, Dan Bak, Jeff Spear and Mike Etropolski along with coach Yury Gelman.  Andrew Fischl was a last minute scratch after he injured his knee last week.

This season’s schedule is different from the past.  First, there will be only 8 international senior tournaments in each weapon.  In the past, men’s saber had 14-15 world cups with varying strengths.   With only 8, every country will attend (should) each world cup, making for no easy competitions.

The Plovdiv, Bulgaria World Cup is also the first of 3 grand prix tournaments.  They will count as 1.5 of a regular world cup.   Meaning, they will award more points for Grand Prix events.

Team events are now help with the “regular” world cups.  Countries may only send 8 fencers to a grand prix and 12 to a “regular” world cup.   However, because most countries have more than 8 strong fencers, and because of the reduced numbers, it should mean that the “regular” world cups will likely be stronger and larger than the Grand Prix ones.

Will post results from day tomorrow.  There are 135 total competitors.   119 compete tomorrow with pools and preliminaries for 48 spots into the second day of 64.

Where in the World is Team USA Men’s Saber Fencing?

We’re off on a 2-week trip with world cups in Madrid, Spain and then we’ll stay for a camp before heading to Padua, Italy.  These are the 6th and 7th world cups we’ll be competing in this season.

Ben Igoe, Daryl Homer, Mike Etropolski, Andrew Fischl, Jeff Spear, Tim Morehouse and a number of other US fencers will be headed overseas for the competitions.    Up for grabs, potentially the 4th spot on the US National Team with James Williams currently working in San Francisco and not training.   These tournaments will also be important for world ranking.   National coach Yury Gelman will coach the team on the trip.

I’ve got The Wire season 3, Friday Night Lights Season 2 and the book, “Geeks Guide to World Domination” by Garth Sundem to help me pass the time on the flight over!

Follow our trip and results here and on twitter! (www.twitter.com/timmorehouse)

Team USA Safe and Sound in Pattaya, Thailand for World Cup

We’re safe and sound in Pattaya!   Ben and I had a little excitement this morning when we tried to head back to the airport in Bangkok to meet up with Dmitry and our ride….

They suddenly closed all the roads because the King of Thailand was coming to our hotel!   When we finally got the airport and met Dmitry our ride was nowhere to be found so we ended up taking a cab to our hotel in Pattaya.
Competition starts tomorrow.  Should be fairly weak, but we’re not sure yet how many countries are actually here. 
PS Coach Dmitry Guy (Pictured above next to Ben in our cab) said he’s a fan of the blog and wanted me to write for him, “HELLO TO EVERYONE!”

In a Battle of Champions: Limbach Claims the Gold Over Zhong. Yakimenko Strong in Return. Big Day for Upsets.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria — 2009 World Champion Nicolas Limbach captured the gold over 2008 Olympic Champion Man Zhong 15-11.     Italian fencers, Dieggo Ochiuzzi and Liugi Miracco both finished 3rd after a strong day of fencing for both.

For the USA, Tim Morehouse advanced to the top-32 defeating Jiang of China 15-14 before falling to Alexey Yakimenko 9-15.   Ben Igoe fell 14-15 to Desci (HUN) and Homer lost to Nicholas Limbach 13-15 in the round of 64.

Yakimenko is making his return after a 2-month suspension by the Russian Fencing Federation for unsportsmanlike conduct at a competition.  He looked strong defeating  Szilagy (HUN), Morehouse (USA) and Dumetrescu (ROM) before falling to Mirraco (ITA).

There were a lot of upsets throughout the tournament.  Only one fencer in the top-16 advanced to the round of 8.  

In the round of 64: Hutchinson (GBR) defeated Pillet (FRA) 15-14.  Moreno (ESP) defeated Nemscik (HUN) 15-14.  Bela (HUN) defeated Lopez (ESP) Dolniceanu (ROM) defeated Pina.(ESP)

In the controversial bout of the day, Apithy (FRA) defeated Marti (ESP)15-14 on a disputed call.    Marti made a lunge which landed as Apithy retreated and then took over to riposte and the referees spent 10 minutes determining if Marti’s foot landed first, meaning his attack would be short, if if the blade landed first.  By a tiny amount they determined his foot landed first and gave the point to Apithy…

However, they spent so much time watching Marti’s feet that they missed Apithy potentially crossing his feet which would have given the bout to Marti.   Apithy had already left the strip as Marti tried to get them to look at the replay again to see his feet and he stood on the strip for 15 minutes as various conversations took place, but the bout was ultimatley awarded to Apithy.

Kosikov (RUS) was beating Wang (CHN) 8-0 a tthe break before Wang retired citing a back injury.

The competition continues tomorrow with the team events.  USA Vs. Japan in the round of 16.  Follow on www.twitter.com/timmorehouse

Bulgaria Men’s Saber World Cup: Homer, Igoe and Morehouse Advance to day 2

Plovdiv, Bulgaria – International competition number 4/11 for team USA got off to a rocky start.   

On the positive side, Daryl Homer and Ben Igoe advance.  Homer went 3-3 in his pool and advanced by defeating Torchuk (UKR) 15-11.   Ben Igoe went 3-3 in his pool and then defeated Gorski (POL) 15-14 to move onto day 2.

Olympian James Williams went 4-2 in his pools, but was elminated by Nagy (HUN) 14-15.   Mike Etropolski went 3-2 before falling to Dolniceanu (ROM) 7-15 and Barron Nydham went 4-2 before falling to Jansen (VEN).   Andrew Fischl went 1-5 in his pools and failed to advance.

In tomorrow’s bracket of 64, Tim Morehouse fences Jiang (CHN), Igoe squares off against Decsi (HUN) and Daryl Homer faces World Champion Limbach (GER).

Check out/predict the Results of the ROUND 64 Bracket (CLICK HERE)

Follow the action live on twitter: www.twitter.com/timmorehouse

Where in the World is the Men’s Saber Fencing Team? Plovdiv, Bulgaria!

We’re off to Europe again! 

We returned last Monday from a 14 day trip to Budapest and Moscow and after a short week of sleep, training and seeing friends and family we’re back to it!

This time we’re headed to Plovdiv, Bulgaria for another Grand Prix.  This trip has already had some interesting quirks.   We originally booked Luftansa tickets, but they went on strike so our flight was cancelled.  Then we booked Air France through Paris and found out two days ago that air traffic controllers are striking in Paris so finally we got our tickets yesterday through Rome on Alitalia!

Making the trip for the US are Ben Igoe, James Williams, Daryl Homer, Andrew Fischl, Mike Etropolski and and myself.

You can follow all the fun live on my twitter: Www.twitter.com/timmorehouse

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: http://www.twitter.com/timmorehouse

World Champion Lukashenko Retires and is Coaching Japan

Saber World Champion Lukashenko of Ukraine has apparently called it a career after being offered a coaching job in Japan.  He will apparently be the new head coach of the Japanese fencing team.    He was one of the most feared fencers in the world from 2000-2009, finishing in the quarter-finals of the world championship just this past year in Turkey.

Also rumored to be retired and searching for a coaching position in the United States is 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Zsolt Nemscik of Hungary.    

Men’s saber is rapidly becoming younger with world powerhouses Russia, Ukraine and Hungary fielding almost entirely new teams.  It’s also likely some of France’s 2008 men’s saber Olympic championship team might retire  after the Paris World Championships in October, 2010.

All this retirement of the people I grew up admiring and fencing against is making me feel old! 😉 (There are some other high-profile retirements out there, but you’ll have to figure those out yourself!)

European Championships: Reshetnikov and Valentina Vezzali claim Gold

Olympic Champion Italian Vallentina Vezzali claimed the gold medal at European Championships in women’s foil while the young Russian Reshetnikov surprised the field with a dominating peformance to claim the gold in men’s saber.

More Results and Live Action: http://www.bulfencing.com/

14 JULY 2009