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Fencing Canada – Weekend Wrap Up, Jan 25, 2016:  MacKinnon top 32 in Women’s World Cup Epee and Gao Wins Epee Bronze in European Fencing Circuit

It was a busy weekend for Epee with Olympic Qualifying World Cup events for the Seniors and European Fencing Circuit (EFC) action for the Cadets.

It was a breakthrough weekend for Canada’s young up-and-coming fencer Leonora MacKinnon (Canadian living in Great Britain).  MacKinnon finished top 32 in an event that featured 240 fencers in an Olympic Qualifying World Cup event in Barcelona.  To get to the 32’s, MacKinnon defeated the world number one ranked athlete Anqi Xu from China 15-13!  The result adds to MacKinnon’s lead for the Pan American zone spot for Rio with only three events remaining.  Canada had an excellent tournament with two other young fencers just falling short of making the top 64’s.  Malinka Hoppe-Montanaro (Montreal, QC) and Vanessa Lacas-Warrick (Markham, ON) finished 94th and 95th respectively, both losing their final direct elimination bouts to advance to the 64’s by very close scores.

In Men’s World Cup Olympic Qualifying in Epee in Heidenheim, Germany, Jean Lelion (Montreal, QC) was Canada’s top fencer finishing 76th in an event that featured 310 fencers.  Maxime Brinck-Croteau (Markham, ON) remains Canada’s top prospect for Rio, ranked first in the Pan American zone with two Americans battling it out for a second spot.

Canada was in action in Team competition as well with the Women’s Epee team finishing 18th and the Men’s Team finishing 20th.

The other big news from the weekend was Cindy Gao’s (Toronto, ON) bronze medal win at the European Fencing Circuit event in Cadet Women’s Epee in Bratislava, an event that featured 256 fencers!  Gao lost her final bout in the semi-final 15-11 to the eventual winner Alessanda Bozza from Italy to earn bronze.

The Canadian Team of Mateusz Kozak (Brampton, ON), Boris Bojanov (Calgary, AB), James Jonas (Calgary, AB) and Daniel Li (Vaughan, ON) finished top half of the field in 9th place in Cadet Men’s Team Foil in the Bratislava EFC event. They defeated Germany, Egypt and had a great comeback against Ukraine 1. In the last two bouts, the team had a 15 point comeback, and Mateusz Kozak scored 10 points against Ukraine’s anchor to win 39 to 38 in overtime.

Canada currently has eight athletes in Olympic Qualification contention with only a few events remaining on the calendar for each weapon.