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Fencing Canada – Canadians took part in Men’s and Women’s Sabre World Cup Olympic qualification competitions this weekend with Joseph Polossifakis (Laval, QC) and Marissa Ponich (Edmonton, AB) both making it to the 64’s after strong poule rounds.

Polossifakis had an impressive 6 wins and 0 losses in poules at the World Cup in Padua, Italy, ranking him 6th overall and earning him a direct berth to the round of 64.  The momentum didn’t carry over to Saturday however, with Polossifakis losing 15-5 against Russian Veiamin Reshetnikov.   Polossifakis finished 39th overall and continues to comfortably maintain his Pan Am zone spot in the qualification race for Rio.

Canadian Sabre women were in World Cup action in Athens, Greece this weekend.  Marissa Ponich led all Canadians finishing 46th overall.  Ponich went 4 wins and 1 loss in poules and won both of her Direct Elimination bouts, including a 15-11 win against Japan’s Seira Yamamoto advancing her to the round of 64 the next day. Ponich lost a close bout to end her day Saturday to Poland’s Marla Puda 15-13 to put her in 46th place overall.

The Canadian Women’s Sabre team composed of Ponich, Gabriella Page (Blainville, QC), Pamela Brind’Amour (Montreal, QC) and Natalie Jones (Montreal, QC) competed on Sunday and finished 15th overall.  The Canadians started strong with a 45-41 win against Venezuela, but then lost to Russia, the number one ranked team who finished 2nd in this event, 45-15 in the round of 16. The Canadians ended their tournament on a high note, defeating Germany 45-29 to finish 15th overall.

The highlight of the weekend in junior world Cup action was Canada’s 7th place finish in Junior Women’s Epee in Team in Burgos, Spain. The team of Alexanne Verret (Quebec, QC), Cindy Gao (Toronto, ON), Monica Lubcynski (Pointe Claire, QC) and Kali Sayers (Calgary, AB) finished 7th overall.  The team defeated Switzerland 54-39 to advance to the top 8 but lost to Russia 44-36.  The team finished their tournament with a close win against Estonia 44-43 to earn 7th place.

Olympic qualification continues to the end of March with only a few events remaining on the calendar for each weapon.  Canada currently sits with eight athletes in Olympic qualification contention.