(The Pan-American Championship is a key tournament to do well in because it is worth the same points as a Grand Prix, but limited only to the athlete pool from North and South America.)
I had to finish at least in the Top64. We were 296 fencers during that Grand Prix. At that point, my whole Olympic qualification was riding on doing well that day. I had 3 victories and 3 losses in pools – if I didn’t want to be eliminated on the first day of this tournament, I had to win 3 bouts of 15 hits to access the tableau of 64.
So here was the challenge: I was ranked 775th in the world. To make it to the tableau, I needed to defeat the fencers who were ranked 105th, 51st and 27th.
Minor challenge right?
I approached every bout with the same way: 1) enjoy fencing, 2) have fun and 3) not get hit too often. It was definitely the right attitude to have because I won all my bouts and made it to the second day!
I fenced against the 7th in the world (Bogdan Nikishin, Ukraine) and I lost 13-10. A really close match that ended due to going to time. Although I was disappointed, this was my best performance. I placed 58th as a final result which garnered me just enough points to be ranked #4 in Canada.
I was going to Panams in Chile!
Visit the Fencing Grand Prix West Budapest Official Website here.