Seth Kelsey stayed focused and didn’t give an inch to his opponents. That same fighting spirit that delivered the 2012 Team World Championship propelled Kelsey into tonight’s medal rounds.
This would be the first men’s epee individual medal since George Calnan won the bronze at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
In each of his matches, he was seeded as the underdog, but Kelsey took hold of his fate and won out his opening round against Li Guojie (CHN) 8-7 to face off against world #1 Nikolai Novosjolov (EST).
Kelsey, not Novosjolov, looked like the world champion in that match. After going up by a touch early, Kelsey would not let the Estonian get anything started and won 15-11.
His next opponent was regional rival Silvio Fernandez (VEN). Again, the plan from Kelsey’s corner was to deny Fernandez the opportunity to get started and counter Fernandez’s fast hand.
Kelsey seized a 3-2 lead in the first period and never looked back. Going into the 3rd period Seth would hold an 11-8 lead. Seth went on to win 15-9.
Asked how he was able to knock off Novosjolov, Seth talked about his focus on the bout, and that he didn’t know he would win until after he won. “I’ve made that mistake before,” he said. When asked how he would prepare for the medal rounds, Seth joked “I don’t know, I’ve never been here before,” then added that he would “eat and drink and get my body ready and try not to think about what has gone before.”
Kelsey’s opponent in the semi-finals will be Ruben Limardo (VEN).