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Cairo World Cup Day 1 Recap

By Dennis Bowsher, OLY | Feb. 26, 2020, 12 a.m. (ET)

Cairo, Egypt -The first World Cup of the 2020 season started today with the women’s semi-final. A total of 80 women from 32 different countries came to Cairo, Egypt for their shot at making Friday’s final. Samantha Schultz, Jessica Davis, Isabella Isaksen, and Ania Olesinski represented Team USA as they competed across three different groups.

            Samantha Schultz was the lone representative in Group A. Her day started with the 200-meter swimming event. Her time of 2:22 was just a little off from her best time but was four seconds faster than what she did in this same pool last year. Up next was the fencing event and Schultz struggled at the beginning of the event. She was able to get into a groove for the last 10 touches, going 6 victories and 4 defeats with one of those victories against the 2016 Olympic Silver medalist from FRA. She ended the fencing event with a total of 8 victories and 17 defeats. Before the combined, Schultz was in 22nd place. She had just one bad shooting series, going 21 seconds for the third series, but the rest of her shooting was good and she ended up having a great run. Her total time of 12:25 was the third fastest time on course, but she was not able to make up enough ground to make the final. She finished 14th place in her group and ended up in 38th place overall.

            Group B saw both Jessica Davis and Ania Olesinski. Davis competed here last year, and this is Olesinski’s first time competing in Cairo. They started with the 200-meter swimming event. Davis touched the wall in a time of 2:28, three seconds faster than what she did last year in the same pool. Olesinski got off to a quick start in her swim but struggled in the second half. Her time of 2:35 put her in 26th place for the swimming event. Fencing was the next event for the two Americans. Olesinski had a difficult time getting any winning streaks going. She had one streak of 4 victories but had a couple streaks of losses. Her total of 9 victories and 17 defeats got her 25th in the event. Davis had an ok start but had a great finish, going 9 victories and 2 defeats for the last 11 touches. Her total of 15 victories and 9 defeats was her highest fencing result at a World Cup. Before the combined, Davis was in 12th and Olesinski was in 25th. Olesinski shot 58 seconds for the four shooting series and fought hard in the run. She finished with a time of 13:42, which had her crossing the line in 26th place for her group and 71st overall for the day. Davis was just a little off her shooting average but still managed to shoot 59 seconds for all four series. She had a good run and her time of 13:11 was 22 seconds faster than what she did last year on this course. Davis finished in 16th place in her group and 41st overall. A good improvement from her 52nd finish last year at this World Cup.

            The final group, Group C, had Isabella Isaksen competing against 24 other women. Fencing was the first event and Isaksen got into a good groove. She made just a couple of mistakes that cost her some bouts but fenced really well overall. She ended up with 15 victories and 9 defeats, which put her in 4th place for the fencing event. In the swimming event, Isaksen got off to a slow start but tried to bring it home in the second half. She touched the wall in a time of 2:26. After two events, she was sitting in 8th place. Isaksen struggled a little bit with sickness today but she fought hard during the laser run. All four shooting series totaled 58 seconds and she finished the laser run with a time of 13:50; finishing the day in 15th place. Isaksen ended the day in 53rd place.

            Team USA women fought hard but unfortunately, no women were able to make the top 36 today, missing Friday’s final. Tomorrow, the men’s team will compete and look to make the final at this World Cup. GO TEAM USA!!!