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Team USA Wins Bronze in Russia

05/10/2017, 5:00pm CDT
By Kristen Henneman

Nick Itkin, Miles Chamley-Watson, Brian Kaneshige and Race Imboden won bronze in the team event at the St. Petersburg Men's Foil World Cup. Photo credit: Augusto Bizzi / FIE

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – At the final men’s foil World Cup of the season in St. Petersburg, Russia, Team USA returned to the podium with a come-from-behind victory against Italy.

Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.), Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.) represented the United States on Sunday and in the bronze medal match found themselves down 35-31 with two bouts remaining.

Facing an Italian team with both the gold and silver medalists from the individual competition in Daniele Garozzo and Andrea Cassara, Imboden made a comeback that swung the momentum for the team in the eighth bout. Imboden scored the first four points to even the score against Alessio Foconi, going on to win his bout, 9-2, and give Chamley-Watson a three-point lead entering the final bout. Chamley-Watson, who had a +9 indicator on the match, claimed a 5-1 victory over Cassara in the anchor spot to give Team USA a 45-38 win and the bronze medal.

Team USA started its day with a dominant 45-17 win over Australia before edging out Korea, 45-42, in the quarter-finals. In the semifinals, the Americans dropped a heartbreaker, falling to Russia, 45-44.

The U.S. concludes the World Cup circuit ranked third behind France and Russia. The Zonal Championships in June will decide the final seeding for the World Championships in July.

In the individual competition, Rio Olympians Chamley-Watson and Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) posted top-eight finishes, earning fifth and sixth, respectively.

Exempt from pools, Chamley-Watson defeated Luca Gaganidze (GEO), 15-8, in the table of 64 and Timur Arslanov (RUS), 15-7, in the 32 while Meinhardt overcame his first two opponents, Baptiste Mourrain (FRA) and Daniel Dosa (HUN), by 15-5 scores.

Chamley-Watson advanced to the quarter-finals with a 15-10 victory over Alexandre Sido (FRA), but had his day ended with a 15-9 loss to Cassara, who went on to win silver.

Meinhardt controlled his table of 16 bout against Kyosuke Matsuyama (JPN), 15-8, to reach the quarters, where he lost to 2017 Junior World Champion Ka Long Cheung (HKG), 15-11.

The fifth-place finish marked the third consecutive top-eight result on the international circuit for Chamley-Watson while Meinhardt tied his best outcome of the season.

Imboden, who won bronze with Chamley-Watson and Meinhardt in Rio, placed 10th in the final foil World Cup of the season. Imboden won his first two bouts by one-point margins, defeating Kenta Suzumura (JPN), 15-14, and 2012 Olympic Team Champion Andrea Baldini (ITA), 14-13. In the table of 16, however, Imboden came in on the losing side of a close bout, falling short of a spot in the quarter-finals with a 15-13 loss to Young Ki Son (KOR).

Also earning top 64 results were Itkin and Adam Mathieu (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Coming off a sixth place finish at the Junior World Championships last month, Itkin bested Christopher Nagle (AUS), 15-9, in the preliminary table of 128 and Tobias Reichetzer (AUT), 15-13, in the following round to claim a spot in Saturday’s competition. There, he was defeated by Lorenzo Nista (ITA), 15-7.

Mathieu won his first two direct elimination bouts on Friday, 15-10, before dropping his table of 64 bout on Saturday by a score of 15-9 to Nicholas Edward Choi (HKG).

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

St. Petersburg Individual Men’s Foil World Cup
1. Daniele Garozzo (ITA)
2. Andrea Cassara (ITA)
3. Timur Safin (RUS)
3. Ka Long Cheung (HKG)
5. Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)
6. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)

7. Young Ki Son (KOR)
8. Alessandro Paroli (ITA)

10. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
49. Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
56. Adam Mathieu (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
114. Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.)
130. Jason Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)

St. Petersburg Team Men’s Foil World Cup
1. France
2. Russia
3. USA
4. Italy
5. Korea
6. Japan
7. Ukraine
8. Poland

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