Kellner takes Bronze in Havana, US Team 4th

{mosimage} Top US Men’s Foil Fencer and US Team Captain Dan Kellner knocked off #1 seed Andrea Cassara en route to a 3rd place finish at the Copa Villa La Habana in Havana, Cuba.  Prior to his bout with Cassara, Kellner also defeated Russia’s Renal Ganeev in the round of 32.

France’s Le Pechoux defeated Kellner in the semi-finals and went on to win the event over teammate Nicolas Beaudan.  This is Le Pachoux’s 2nd world cup win this season; he is currently 2nd on the FIE official world rankings.

In the team competition, the United States continued to impress with a 4th place finish, losing to the Russians 29-25 in the bronze medal match.  In earlier rounds, the US team defeated Great Britain and Japan before losing to Italy in the semi-finals.

France defeated Italy in the team finals with a score of 43-42.  In earlier rounds, the German team continued to have problems as they lost to the Japanese team 45-38.

Dan Kellner took some time to answer a few questions from Fencing.Net regarding the Havana event.

FN: Andrea Cassara was the #1 seed and 4th in the world rankings.  What was your approach in this bout and what do you think helped you achieve the win?

{mosimage}Kellner: Before I fenced Cassara, I fenced Ganeev of Russia, who was fourth at the 2004 Olympics. I fenced Ganeev really well, because I saw his strategy from watching his previous bout against Husham Hindi from Canada. I opened up a 5-0, and 7-2 lead on Ganeev, before winning 15-9.

This strong bout gave me some confidence going into my bout with Cassara.

Taking this confidence into my bout with Cassara helped, because even though he opened up 5-10 lead, I never felt like I was out of the bout.   I know that I’m a good fencer and a smart fencer. I just had to remember to play my game. I knew what his tactics were, and I just had to make small adjustments during the bout and fight for each touch. The second period started with me down 5-10, I had nothing to lose, so I just concentrated on my actions, and after a few minutes I was finishing the bout ahead 15-13.

FN:  The US Men’s Foil fencers have taken some momentum from the Olympic Games result and have posted significant gains in the FIE world rankings.

Kellner:  The Olympics helped show us that US Men’s Foil fencers don’t need to be a second tier team. We train hard, and more importantly, we train intelligently. The Olympics really crystallized for us that we can compete with the best teams in the world, and that there is no reason that we can’t be one of the best teams in the world.

FN: What approach have you and the Men’s Foil team taken to adapting your fencing to the foil timings in effect this season?

Kellner: I really haven’t changes my approach to fencing that much. I liked flicking, especially with a riposte to the flank or shoulder, but my game was never built around the flick. Though I do have some complaints about the new timings (mostly because some straight touches don’t register), I think the new timings allow for more back and forth and "conversations" between fencer’s blades.

There’s no more running your opponent down the strip and smacking them on the back, with the flick bailing you out of advancing too fast and getting too close to your opponent. Actions and footwork must now be much more precise. I think the new timings better show who can actually fence and who can’t.

FN: Are there any pointers you would offer up to younger fencers who are trying to adapt to the new foil timings?

Kellner: "I’d like to think the younger fencers would have an easier time adjusting to the new timings, because they didn’t fence for 14 years with the old ones like I did.

That being said, I think the best advice I can give is to be smart. I see too many young fencers trying to "out fence" or "out smart" the machine and refuse to stop flicking. I still flick every once in a while, but maybe only 10% of what I used to.

I still see fencers who flick almost the same amount as before. This just doesn’t make sense. Why would you want to handicap yourself with a strategy that doesn’t work? For me, fencing is about being smart and out thinking my opponent. I don’t think younger fencers realize how much of a thinking sport this is. Now that you can’t flick anymore, use this as an opportunity to be smart, and improve the weaker areas of your game that you just covered up with flicking."

Dan Kellner is ranked No. 1 in men’s foil in the U.S. He’s had podium finishes in World Cups for several seasons in a row and won the gold, both team and individual, at the 2003 Pan American Games. He is captain of the men’s foil National Team squad.

Next Page: Full Results from the Coppa Villa La Habana Men’s Foil Gran Prix


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Full Results: Copa Villa La Habana: Gran Prix World Cup

Individual Event

Place Name Country
1 LE PECHOUX Erwan FRA
2 BEAUDAN Nicolas FRA
3 MOCEK Slawomir POL
3 KELLNER Dan USA
5 JOPPICH Peter GER
6 ZHANG Liangliang CHN
7 BALDINI Andrea ITA
8 WU Hanxiong CHN
9 CASSARA Andrea ITA
10 VANNI Simone ITA
11 LUDWIG Michael AUT
12 SINTES Victor FRA
13 TIOMKIN Jonathan USA
14 SZUCHNICKI Wojciech POL
15 PIERUCCI Giuseppe ITA
16 BEHR Dominik GER
17 SANZO Salvatore ITA
18 KLEIBRINK Benjamin GER
19 MOLTCHAN Youri RUS
20 GANEEV Renal RUS
21 RAMACCI Marco ITA
22 HINTERSEER Moritz AUT
23 ONO Kota JPN
24 GOMES Joao POR
25 MONTERO Julian ESP
26 STOUKALINE Alexandre RUS
27 FUKUDA Yusuke JPN
27 HUANG Liangcai CHN
29 IVANOV Anton RUS
30 KWAK Nae Hyuk KOR
31 CHOI Byung Chul KOR
32 MENENDEZ Gabriel ESP
33 BISSDORF Ralf GER
34 OTA Yuki JPN
35 GUYART Brice FRA
36 ZHU Jun CHN
37 PRANZ Renee AUT
38 ALVEAR Felipe CHI
39 WITKOWSKI Andrzej POL
40 MORI Akira JPN
41 COUTO FERNANDEZ Maikel CUB
42 SONG Yuan CHN
43 GRIDNEV Igor RUS
44 CHERUBINO Gianmarco ESP
45 WOJCIK Marek CAN
46 SON Young Ki KOR
47 HA Chang Duk KOR
48 PARK Hee Kyung KOR
49 RISELEY David GBR
50 HINTERSEER Tobias AUT
51 CIEPLY Tomasz POL
52 HINDI Husham CAN
53 TEISSEIRE Nicholas CAN
54 BEEVERS James GBR
55 SCHLOSSER Roland AUT
56 POZDNIAKOV Viatcheslav RUS
57 HORANYI Andras USA
58 DUPREE Jedediah USA
59 LEE Chon Ung KOR
60 MCGUIRE Joshua CAN
61 RICHTER Anatol AUT
62 MANSOUR David GBR
63 GARCIA Javier ESP
64 DA SILVA Enrique VEN
65 DE LA CONCHA Andres MEX
66 MITOMO Satoshi JPN
67 MOJENA FROMETA Pedro CUB
67 GETZ Kurt USA
69 ARTEAGA KESSEL Daymar CUB
70 ALVARES LAZO Yosniel CUB
71 ZHANG Lei CHN
72 RODRIGUEZ Ignacio ESP
73 O RELLY ROMAN Abraham CUB
74 OKANO Takashi JPN
75 LANDREVILLE Alexis CAN
75 GUARDADO Alejandro Isaac MEX
77 PINEDA Jose VEN
78 PEREZ Yonner VEN
79 NAGATY Mostafa EGY
80 CARTER Alphonzo USA
81 ROWE James-david GBR
82 ROSS ALDAMA Yoenis CUB
83 CHUMACERO-H. Edgar MEX
84 ORTEGA Federico MEX
85 SUAREZ ANDINA Reinier CUB
86 HERRERA Ramses MEX
87 MORENO BRIONES Patricio CHI
88 SHATTKY Blair NZL
89 GARCIA ORTIZ Denis CUB
90 SERNA Duvan COL
91 SCHIBILIA Jesse USA
92 SAMORA MORALES Yoelkis CUB
93 PAZ Y MINO Juan J. ECU
93 ROMERO David COL
95 OROZCO Pavel MEX
96 DIAZ Jhon fredy COL
97 CUELLAR Jefferson COL
98 RODRIGUEZ Carlos Eduardo VEN
99 PENA LOZADA Phanor COL
100 MONGE Alejandro ECU
101 HERNANDEZ VASQUEZ Alejandro COL

Full Results: Copa Villa La Habana: Gran Prix World Cup

Team Event

Place Country
1 FRA
2 ITA
3 RUS
4 USA
5 CHN
6 KOR
7 JPN
8 AUT
9 POL
10 GER
11 ESP
12 CUB
13 CAN
14 GBR
15 VEN
16 MEX


Kellner takes Bronze in Havana, US Team 4th by

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