With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games now in the rear view mirror, Race Imboden took his first step toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a resounding gold-medal win at the first world cup of the season in Cairo.
After receiving a bye through the first round, Imboden cruised through the bracket undefeated, winning each of his bouts by margins no smaller than four points. He faced off against Italy's Alessio Foconi for gold; the two have competed against each other six times previously, with Imboden winning each of the six. In Cairo he won again, with ease, 15-7. Teammate Miles Chamley-Watson finished in a tie for fifth place after dropping his quarterfinal contest.
This is Imboden's fourth career world cup gold medal and eighth medal overall. He most recently won gold at the world cup in Paris in January and took bronze at the grand prix in Havana in March. In 2015, he became the first U.S. man to win an overall world cup championship.
Currently ranked No. 12 in the world, Imboden was initially chosen as a replacement athlete on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. He was called up to compete in the team event and helped the men's foil team to a bronze medal, its first of any color since the 1932 Olympics.
Competition in Cairo continues on Sunday with the team competition. Four more world cups are scheduled for this season in Tokyo; Paris; Bonn, Germany; and St. Petersburg, Russia.