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Foil Fencing Teams Finalize Olympic Rosters

By Karen Price | March 28, 2021, 5 p.m. (ET)

(L-R) Foil fencers Race Imboden, Alex Massialas, Nick Itkin and Gerek Meinhardt have all secured their spots on the U.S. Olympic Team. 

 

The U.S. women’s Olympic foil fencing team is ranked No. 4 in the world and will be chief among the contenders for medals in Tokyo this summer. Meanwhile, the men’s team will be looking to match or surpass the bronze medal it won at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Now we know the athletes who will make up the teams representing the U.S. at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The rosters were finalized at this weekend’s FIE Grand Prix event in Doha, Qatar.

On the women’s side, Jackie Dubrovich and Nicole Ross qualified for both the individual and team events, joining teammate Lee Kiefer, who had already secured a spot. Sabrina Massialas also qualified as the team’s replacement athlete. 

With the team spots now locked up, Ross can get ready for her second Olympic experience. The 32-year-old previously competed in London in 2012, finishing sixth with the team and 25th individually. The 2010 NCAA fencing champion lost to Massialas in the round of 64 this weekend, but she came into the competition ranked second behind Kiefer, and her performance was enough to solidify her spot. 

Massialas lost in the round of 32, as did Dubrovich, who had beaten France’s Alice Recher. Dubrovich lost to Beatrice Monaco of Italy, 15-7, but she, too, nailed down the qualifying spot with that result. The 26-year-old will be making her Olympic debut. 

The battle for alternate was between Massialas and a number of other women, but 24-year-old Massialas snagged the coveted spot. 

On the men’s side, Gerek Meinhardt, who’s ranked No. 3 in the world, defeated teammate Race Imboden in the semifinals. Then Meinhardt beat Takahiro Shikine of Japan for the gold medal. 

Meinhardt took a 5-0 lead just 18 seconds into the match, and although Shikine closed to 11-10, Meinhardt scored the next four points for the win. 

Meinhardt and Alex Massialas had already qualified for both the individual and team competition. Nick Itkin secured the third spot, while Imboden will serve as the replacement athlete.

(L-R) Jackie Dubrovich, Nicole Ross, Lee Kiefer and Sabrina Massialas (not pictured) have all secured their spots on the U.S. Olympic Team. 

 

The U.S. women’s foil team has medaled at the last three world championships, winning bronze in 2019, gold in 2018 and silver in 2017. In January 2019, the team earned its first-ever world No. 1 ranking.

No U.S. women’s foil fencer has won an individual Olympic medal since the event was added to the Olympic Games in 1924, though the U.S. squad did win a team silver medal at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.

The men’s team took third in at the 2016 Games in Rio, while Alex Massialas won an individual sliver at that event. This will be his third straight Olympic appearance, while Meinhardt will be competing in his fourth Games for the U.S. Imboden also competed in 2012 and 2016. Itkin will be making his Olympic debut in Tokyo.

 

Karen Price

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Related Athletes

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Nick Itkin

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Gerek Meinhardt

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Alexander Massialas

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Race Imboden

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Jackie Dubrovich

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Nicole Ross

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Lee Kiefer