Two-time Olympian Race Imboden was unbeatable Sunday, and he saved his most dominating performance for the gold-medal bout of the Grand Prix men’s foil fencing event in Torino, Italy.
In no time at all, the two-time Olympian raced out to a 9-0 lead against Hong Kong’s Ka Long Cheung, who knocked off Imboden's teammates Alexander Massialas in the quarterfinals and bronze medalist Gerek Meinhardt in the semis to reach the final. Although Cheung would eventually get on the board, Imboden continued on the attack and had little trouble finishing off the bout with a 15-6 victory.
Imboden, ranked third in the world, was coming off two world cup medal performances in January, winning bronze in Paris and silver in Tokyo.
His victories in Torino included beating Australia’s Sholto Douglas 15-5, Croatia’s Ivan Komsic 15-7 and South Korea’s Kwanghyun Lee 15-10. In the quarterfinals, the 25-year-old from New York beat Russia’s Alexey Cheremisinov 15-13, and, for the third tournament in a row, faced Italy's Alessio Foconi in the semifinals. Foconi got the upper hand in Paris, Imboden won the rematch in Tokyo and, although Sunday’s meeting stayed close, Imboden once again emerged with the win, this time by a 15-13 score.
Meinhardt, meanwhile, started his day with a 15-12 win over Russia’s Askar Khamzin before moving on to Germany’s Benjamin Kleibrink 15-13. In the next two rounds Meinhardt, seeded 11th, took on competitors from Italy, beating Andrea Cassara in the round of 16 and Giorgio Avola in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinal bout against Cheung.
Meinhardt had to fight back after Cheung opened up a 5-0 lead and, although the score was tied 8-8, before the break, Cheung stayed a step ahead of Meinhardt to take a 15-12 victory and leave Meinhardt with the bronze.
On the women’s side, Lee Kiefer, Nicole Ross and Nzingha Prescod all made it to the round of 16 but none advanced further.