Canadian Fencing Team Named for Lima 2019 Pan American Games

Monday, June 10, 2019

OTTAWA (June 5, 2019) – The Canadian Fencing Federation and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced the 18 fencing athletes nominated to compete at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Nine women and nine men have qualified to compete at the Pan American Games for Team Canada based on their results from the past season’s World Cup circuit. While the Pan American Games are not a 2020 Olympic qualifying event, Canada’s top fencers will use the multi-sport Games as important preparation for the Olympic qualification process and top fencers from the Pan American zone will be taking part.  

The fencing squad will be made up of a combination of veteran and first time Pan American Games athletes. A total of 11 fencers took part in previous Pan American Games while seven others will compete in their first senior multi-sport games at the international level.

“I’m extremely excited to represent Canada at another Pan American Games. The 2015 Games in Toronto played an important role in my preparation for Rio,” said world top 16 foil fencer Eleanor Harvey from Hamilton. “Defeating the world number one ranked USA team in the finals to win gold in front of a hometown crowd is an experience I will never forget.”

Harvey will be joined by her teammates Alanna Goldie (Calgary, Alta.) and 13-year-old Jessica Guo (Toronto, Ont.) who is making her multi-sport Games debut in Lima. Canada’s women’s foil team is currently ranked seventh in the World.  

Marc-Antoine Blais-Bélanger (Montreal, Que.) and men’s épée teammates Seraphim Hsieh Jarov (Surrey, B.C.) and John Wright (Ottawa, Ont.) are experiencing their first Pan American Games.

“It is an honour to represent Canada at my first senior Pan American Games,” said Blais-Bélanger. “It gives us a great opportunity to compete against the top Pan Am fencers who are our main competitors for qualification for Tokyo through our zone.”

Canada won one gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the last Pan American Games in 2015 and are striving to surpass that total in Lima. Fencing will take place from August 5 to 10 at the Lima Convention Centre.

Lima 2019, which will run from July 26 to August 11, will bring together approximately 6,700 athletes from 41 nations of the Americas and feature 62 disciplines in 39 sports. It will be the largest sporting event ever held in Peru.

The athletes and coaches nominated are:

Men’s Épée
Marc-Antoine Blais-Bélanger (Montreal, Que.) – Individual and Team
Seraphim Hsieh Jarov (Vancouver, B.C.) – Individual and Team
John Wright (Ottawa, Ont.) – Team
Victor Gantsevich (Richmond, B.C.) – Coach

Women’s Épée
Leonora Mackinnon (Newbury, England) – Individual and Team
Malinka Hoppe Montanaro (Montreal, Que.) – Individual and Team
Alexanne Verret (Quebec, Que.) – Team
Georges Karam (Paris, France) – Coach

Men’s Foil
Maximilien Van Haaster (Montreal, Que.) – Individual and Team
Eli Schenkel (Los Angeles, USA) – Individual and Team
Misha Sweet (Chichester, United Kingdom) – Team
Julien Camus (Drummondville, Que.) – Coach

Women’s Foil
Jessica Guo (Toronto, Ont.) – Individual and Team
Eleanor Harvey (Hamilton, Ont.) – Individual and Team

Alanna Goldie (Calgary, Alta.) – Team
Yoann Lebrun (Toronto, Ont.) – Coach
Mike Pederson (USA) – Coach

Men’s Sabre
Shaul Gordon (Richmond, British Columbia) – Individual and Team
Joseph Polossifakis (Laval, Que.) – Individual and Team
Fares Arfa (Laval, Que.) – Team
Benjamin Manano (Montreal, Que.) – Coach

Women’s Sabre
Gabriella Page (Blainville, Que.) – Individual and Team
Marissa Ponich (Lac la Biche, Alta.) – Individual and Team
Pamela Brind’Amour (Sainte-Martine, Que.) – Team
Benjamin Manano (Montreal, Que.) – Coach

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations in late June 2019.

Story and Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee

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