The World Championships of Fencing kicked off today in Antalya, Turkey with preliminary rounds of women’s saber and men’s foil. Only 4 US fencers competed today and all of them advanced to the round of 64: Daria Schneider (3-2 in pools, advanced), Dagmara Wozniak (3-2 in pools, advance), Miles Chamley Watson (4-2 in pools, advanced) and Alex Massailis (4-1, advanced)
Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis, Monica Aksamit, Kurt Getz and Gerek Meinhart all had byes. The format this year is slightly adjusted. The preliminary rounds for each event are happening followed by a 2 day break before the tableau of 64.
This is the most amount of US fencers in the top-16 in history. Many US fencers put up strong results this year, but a number of intriguing factors upped those numbers. First, the Asian Zonal is being held after worlds so the FIE removed their points dropping most of them drastically given that competitions value to the world ranking. Second, Monica Aksamit was ranked 17th, but #5 in the world Tan is not competing here with rumors of conflict with her coach Christian Bauer being the reason. This moved her up to 16th and a bye. The 6’6 Wang, China’s anchor in the team event is not competing as well with similar rumors abounding about his absence.