San Francisco natives Alexander Massialas (left) and Gerek Meinhardt fenced in the semifinals of the Tokyo Grand Prix last season. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FencingPhotos.com
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – With less than two years remaining before the 2016 Olympic Games are held in Rio de Janeiro, more than 150 of the world’s best fencers will compete at the San Francisco Men’s Foil World Cup from Oct. 17-19 at Kezar Pavilion.
"It has been four years since we've had the privilege of bringing a foil World Cup to U.S. soil and we know the city of San Francisco will be a great host to our international delegations," said USA Fencing President Donald K. Anthony Jr. (Columbus, Ohio) "Our men's foil team has had a historic last few seasons and we're looking forward to Team USA fencing the world's best in front of a home crowd."
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Athletes from more than 30 nations, including Italy, Russia, France and Korea, will vie for gold during the three-day event.
The tournament will include both individual and team competitions. The individual pools and preliminary rounds will be held on Friday, Oct. 17 and will be followed by the table of 64 through the final rounds on Oct. 18. Competition will conclude with team events on Oct. 19.
The U.S. delegation will feature approximately 30 fencers, including all four members of the squad that placed fourth at the 2012 Olympic Games and won silver at the 2013 Senior World Championships.
For San Francisco natives Gerek Meinhardt and Alexander Massialas, the World Cup will be a rare opportunity to fence in front of a home crowd as U.S. athletes travel to an average of 10 countries each year.
Both Meinhardt, a two-time Olympian who won bronze at the 2010 Senior World Championships, and Massialas, his London Olympic teammate, grew up fencing in San Francisco and competed in regional events at the historic Kezar Pavilion during their youth fencing days.
A graduate student at Notre Dame, Meinhardt is now ranked No. 4 in the world after winning two individual medals on the World Cup circuit last season. Ranked seventh in the world, Massialas is a junior at Stanford who also won two individual World Cup medals this year and placed second behind Meinhardt at the Pan American Championships in June.
Meinhardt and Massialas’s teammates, 2012 Olympians Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.), will be among the top candidates for podium finishes in San Francisco.
Ranked 10th in the world, Imboden finished third at the 2014 Tokyo Grand Prix as part of a 1-2-3 U.S. finish with Meinhardt and Massialas and won the silver medal at the Seoul World Cup in May.
Chamley-Watson made history in 2013 as the first U.S. man to win an individual Senior World Championship title in fencing and took silver that same year with Meinhardt, Massialas and Imboden in the team event.
In the team event, the Americans were ranked No. 1 in the world earlier this year and are hoping to build on a season that included three podium appearances last spring.