LONDON – On the final day of the individual fencing competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, American Joseph Brinson (Florence, Miss.) took to the stage to compete in men’s sabre, category B.
Brinson, the No. 15 seed in the tournament, pulled a tough draw as both the third and fourth seeds were in his pool.
Brinson lost each of his four bouts today but still held his own, losing two of the four by very slim margins. Although he would have liked to pick up a few wins he was still happy he at least had a shot to win some of his more difficult bouts.
“It felt good to know I was in it,” said Brinson. “I think experience is what hurt me today though,” Against Poland’s Adrian Castro in the first bout of the day, Brinson came out swinging, scoring his first point in just one second. The bout then went back and forth, with Brinson rallying to tie the score three times before Castro eventually got the better of him, 5-3.
In his second match, Brinson was up against Russia’s Alexandr Kurzin, the number four seed in the tournament and a very aggressive fencer.
“I have fenced him before and I knew he was aggressive and strong… I know his style but he is really good at what he does, so I had to try to make adjustments to get around him” stated Brinson.
Brinson again held his own in this bout, even holding on to a slight lead at 2-1, but the Russian began to rally shortly thereafter and defeated Brinson, 5-3.
Brinson lost his third bout to Greece’s Panagiotis Triantafyllou, 5-0 and fell to third seeded Laurent Francois of France 5-2 in his fourth and final bout of the day.
For Brinson just coming to London and having the opportunity to fence against the world’s best was an amazing experience.
For someone who is still very new to the sport after just learning how to fence six years ago, the opportunity to represent his country at the Paralympic Games was the moment of a lifetime.
“This is the biggest stage and the whole experience has been so great. Performing here today really put it in perspective, this is one of the biggest things ever in my life,” said Brinson.
Competing against such high-level competition was eye-opening for Brinson. In addition to learning new skills and tactics by watching some of his competitors, he was also able to determine where he needs to make some improvements as well.
“I learn from these guys every time I go against them,” pointed out the 36-year old. “I am still learning and I am going to continue to fight to get better and better. I know I am a contender.”
Brinson hopes to build on this experience and compete in the Rio Games four years from now.
“I am going to train hard and continue to get better….I will be in Rio in four years.”