Fencing: Upsets Galore on First Day of Pan American Zonal Qualifier

The first day of the Pan American Zonal Qualifiers saw the final quotas awarded in three individual events. Only unqualified nations were allowed to compete where the winner of each event was given a quota to compete at the games. Each event consisted of a pool round where athletes were then seeded into a single elimination bracket. The Pan American Zonal Qualifiers are currently being held in San Jose, Costa Rica from May 1st to May 2nd 2021.

The men’s individual epee came down to Cuba’s Yunior Reytor, the top seed whom defeated Brazil’s Athos Schwantes in the semi-finals 15-9 and Canada’s Marc-Antoine Blais-Belanger a sixth seed after the pool round whom managed a couple of upsets including against Colombia’s John Edison Rodriguez (15-13) in the semi-finals. The quota was won by Blais-Belanger whom defeated Reytor 15-10.

The top two seeds saw semi-final defeats in the women’s individual foil. Top seed Ana Beatriz Bulcao of Brazil lost to Mexico’s Nataly Michel 15-8 while Argentina’s Flavia Mormandi lost to Chile’s Katina Proestakis 15-9. The event winner and Olympic qualifier was Proestakis whom defeated Michel 15-12.

The final event of the day was the men’s individual sabre. Argentina’s Pascual Di Tella, the overall top seed was able to reach the finals as he won against Cuba’s Harold Rodriguez 15-13. The underdog story was Venezuela’s Jose Quintero who ended up being the seventh seed after the pool round. He was able to reach the finals by defeating Chile’s Victor Contreras 15-10. The Olympic quota came down to the final point where Quintero touched first to win 15-14 over Di Tella.

This was the final opportunity for athletes to qualify in these events. The Pan American qualifier concludes tomorrow with the other three individual events.

Qualified Nations

Men’s Individual Epee
* Canada

Women’s Individual Foil
* Chile

Men’s Individual Sabre
* Venezuela

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