2017 Veteran World Championships (In Review)

The 2017 Veteran World Championships took place this past week (October 16th-21st), and our BC athletes will be returning home with some phenomenal results to show for it.

First up for our BC competitors were Mike Krasnich, and Roy Suzuki in Individual Men’s Sabre. Mike competed in the 50+ category of the Individual Men’s Sabre event. Poules presented Mike with a 58th seed position from his 1-5 display. He gained a bye into the round of 64, and was matched up with the 7th seeded fencer, Sergey Kushpil (RUS). Mike was unable to defeated the Russian, falling 10-5 and accepting his 58th place result in the end.

Next was Roy, who fenced in the 60+ age category, and went 2-3 in poules at the beginning of the day. After poules, he was seeded 27th and placed against Hon Kin Albert Tsang (HKG). Roy handily defeated his opponent 10-4 in his first DE, advancing him into the round of 32. Eric Loiseau (FRA) was Roy’s next bout, though the tables turned and the French fencer prevailed with a 10-4 win over our BC athlete. He concluded the event in 28th place. Mike and Roy both represented Canada and BC well, along with their combined efforts in the Team Men’s Sabre event.

Fran Sloan-Sainas and returning former Olympian, Susan Stewart were next up to represent our province in Individual Women’s Foil. Fran left poules ranked 23rd, giving her a BYE into the round of 32. She was up against Liubov Mayorova (RUS), though just narrowly missing the round of 16 with a final score of 6-4 for Mayorova. Still, Fran finished in 25th place in the 60+ event.

If you weren’t already familiar with Susan’s fencing career, she competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, placing 6th in team and 43rd in individual women’s foil. Stewart has yet again graced the world stage the Veteran Worlds, and begun the 70+ category with a 5th place seeding after poules. Once into the round of 16 after her bye through 32’s, Susan faced Ruth Dodge (USA). The bout ended with a 10-5 win for Dodge, and a 9th place result for Susan.

The next day, the ladies were up again for the Team Women’s foil event, this time accompanied by BC athelete Grace Born and Montreal teammate Siobhan Moss. In the poule rounds the ladies fenced against Australia, Germany, and Japan, though were unsuccessful against their opponents, leaving them with a 10th place seed into direct eliminations. With poules behind them, they fought hard against the Japanese team, and prevailed with a 30-26 win.  Moving onto the round of 8, team Canada was paired with the no.2 seed, France; though this didn’t shake them. Another 30-26 success over the French team, and they were onto the semi-finals! Facing off with the United States, who Susan was already familiar with after her individual event, emotions were high. The women put up a good fight against our Southern neighbours, but in the end the USA advanced into the final with a 30-15 win. Our Canadian team finished the event in 4th place after the bronze medal bout against Great Britain. Overall a fantastic world result for our Canadian/BC women’s team!

Onto day 4 of the competition, and it was Grace Born’s time to shine in Individual Women’s Sabre (50+). She started the event out slowly,  going 1-5 in poules and being seeded 27th going into DE’s – yet still gaining a bye into the round of 32. Grace kicked up the heat in the 32’s with a nail-biting victory of 10-9 over Jose M Padura (ESP), who was seeded 6th after poules. Another close bout came in the round of 16 against Vanessa Hendra (GBR), with Grace defeating the British fencer 10-8! The day progressed, and her next opponent was presented in the form of Friederike Janshen (GER). The German was the 3rd ranked fencer in the event, and was showing to be a tough competitor. Though Grace gave it all she had, the German ended up proceeding to the Semi with a 10-4 victory. Grace completed her Veteran Worlds with her best ever result, an 8th place result. Congratulations again, Grace!

Roy Suzuki, who fenced previously in the sabre events, Bela Suveg, and Andrew Shulz were our BC men’s epeeists at the Championships. Bela started the event off well, completing poules with 4 victories and 2 losses, placing him in the 32nd seed position. Due to his achievements throughout poules, Bela advanced straight into the round of 64. His first bout was against Alexandr Zagorulko (RUS), in which he defeated the Russian 9-5. In the round of 32, Bela’s opposition was Roberto Codon Miravalles (ESP). Despite his previous successes, the Spanish fencer took the win over our BC champion, with a 10-6 win. Bela concluded the event in 28th place.

Andrew began the Individual Men’s Epee 60+ event going 2-3 in his poule, with one competitor withdrawing from the competition. This initial result landed Andrew in a 45th place position directly advancing into the round of 64. His first bout was against Goran Elfverson, in which Elfverson won the bout 10-7.

Roy fenced alongside teammate Andrew Shulz in the 60+ age group. He finished poules with 3 victories and 2 losses, which presented him as the 36th seed, and a bye into the round of 64. However, Martin Dalla Vecchia (SUI) showed victorious against Roy with a 10-4 win. Andrew finished up the event in 31st place, while Roy came 42nd. All of our Men’s Epeeists demonstrated fabulous BC fencing throughout, and put in valiant efforts within the team event as well.

An overall wonderful performance by all of our Canadian and BC athletes. We are all looking forward to what seems to be a strong future for BC veteran fencing on the international stage! Go BC!