Lauryn DeLuca (left) fenced Gemma Collis (GBR) in the pools. Photo Credit: Ginny Boydston
Brinson (right) fenced Grzegorz Pluta (POL) in the pool rounds. Photo Credit: Ginny Boydston.
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA’s wheelchair fencers both lost in the early rounds of the Paralympic Games in Rio.
After representing Team USA in London, Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss.) found out he would be returning to the Paralympic Games less than a month ago when he received a reallocated position in the Category B men’s saber event.
Despite the good news, Brinson found himself in a draw with four Paralympic medalists on Monday, including all three podium finishes from the London Games.
In a pool of just five competitors, every touch would be crucial as athletes looked to advance to the top quarter-finals. Brinson lost his first bouts by a 5-1 scores against 2012 Paralympic bronze medalist Alessio Sarri (ITA). Brinson fenced Anton Datsko (UKR) in the second round. A silver medalist in foil in London, Datsko is a 2011 World Champion in saber and would ultimately go on to take gold in Rio after defeating Brinson, 5-1. The two losses meant Brinson’s third bout against 2012 Paralympic silver medalist Marc Andre Cratere (FRA) would be critical. Cratere controlled the bout for a 5-1 win, eliminating Brinson from the opportunity to advance. Brinson remained focused on trying to secure a victory in his final bout against 2012 Paralympic Champion Grzegorz Pluta (POL) and scored the first touch in the bout against the 2015 Wheelchair World silver medalist. While Brinson scored first and, Pluta took the bout, 5-2, and Brinson ended the day in 10th place.
Seventeen-year-old Lauryn DeLuca (Parma, Ohio) fenced in the Category A women’s epee competition on Tuesday as the event’s youngest competitor.
DeLuca looked to win her opening bout and tied the score at two before Aliona Halkina (BLR) picked up three singles to take the victory, 5-2. DeLuca’s greatest challenge would come from World No. 3 Xufeng Zou (CHN) who gave up just one touch, defeating DeLuca, 5-1, before going on to earn her first Paralympic title. In her third bout, DeLuca again held her opponent, Gemma Collis (GBR), at 2-2 before dropping the bout, 5-2. With 12 women in the field and a 33% cut, DeLuca would need to win both of her next two bouts to have a chance at advancing. Her next opponent, seven-time Paralympic medalist Zsuzsanna Krajnyak (HUN) would end the American’s hopes, however, when she took the bout, 5-1, giving up just the opening touch to DeLuca. Although she faced elimination, DeLuca remained determined to end on a victory and defeated Renata Burdon (POL), 5-4, to finish 11th overall.
Click here to view complete results.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Category B Men’s Saber Paralympic Games
1. Anton Datsko (UKR)
2. Panagiotis Triantafyllou (GRE)
3. Adrian Castro (POL)
4. Grzegorz Pluta (POL)
5. Alessio Sarri (ITA)
6. Yanke Feng (CHN)
7. Marc-Andre Cratere (FRA)
8. Pierre Mainville (CAN)
10. Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss.)
Category A Women’s Epee Paralympic Games
1. Xufeng Zou (CHN)
2. Jing Bian (CHN)
3. Yevheniia Breus (UKR)
4. Zsuzsanna Krajnyak (HUN)
5. Amarilla Veres (HUN)
6. Marta Fidrych (POL)
7. Aliona Halkina (BLR)
8. Gemma Collis (GBR)
11. Lauryn DeLuca (Parma, Ohio)