Seth Kelsey got his workout as closer for the US Men’s Epee Team (Ben Bratton, Seth Kelsey, Soren Thompson, Alexander Tsinis) and led the way for the US Men’s Epee team as they secured another silver medal, this time at the Voith Cup in Heidenheim, Germany. This is the first World Cup event to count for 2012 Olympic Qualification.
The US team entered the team event as the #3 seed. They defeated Russia in a close 45-43 bout. The US trailed the match by 2 touches going into the 5th bout. Soren Thompson tied the match at 21 with a 3-1 bout over Sergey Khodos and then Ben Bratton added another 3-1 win over Anton Avdeev to put the US ahead 24-22. Soren Thompson and Seth Kelsey held off fast bouts in the last two matches, holding the 2 touch lead with 11-11 and 10-10 performances.
In the semi-finals the US went up against Italy. The Italians had knocked off #2 France and were looking to take down the US as well. Early on, Italy took a 2 touch lead and stretched it to a 6 touch advantage going into the final bout.
Seth Kelsey matched up against Enrico Garozzo 19-13 to tie the match at 43 when time ran out. In the one minute overtime, Kelsey scored the sudden-death touch to win the match 44-43.
The finals placed the US against Hungary. The US started strong going up 10-5 and then 25-20 before Hungary started chipping away at the US lead. Entering the last bout, the US held a 1 point lead but Gabor Boczko was able to go 6-5 against Kelsey, putting the US closer in another sudden-death overtime situation. Hungary’s Boczko struck the golden hit in the 47th second of the sudden death round and clinched gold for his team, leaving the US with a silver medal.
In the individual event, the Italians swept with Stefano Carozzo (ITA) defeating Paolo Pizzo (ITA) for the final. Matteo Tagliariol (ITA) shared 3rd with Ronan Gustin (FRA). Seth Kelsey was the highest US finish at 18th.
Kelsey tops US fencers at 18th in Individual
For the 2012 Olympics, the Men’s Epee event will be individual only, so performance at the individual world cups is paramount.
After this first qualifying world cup, Kelsey was the top non-European fencer. The next best finish from a fencer in the Americas zone was Ruben Limardo (VEN) at 36th place. Kelsey was the lone American to reach the top-64.
Heidenheim Men’s Epee Individual Results: