Canada, Brazil dominate in sabre at Americas Championships

16/05/2024

Wheelchair fencers from Canada and Brazil took two each of the five gold medals on offer on the opening day of competition at the 2024 Americas Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday (16 May).

Canadian Trinity Lowthian stormed to her first major international title in the women’s sabre category B.

Facing Monica Santos – an athlete with a lot more experience – 22-year-old Lowthian put on an impressive display to stun Santos 15-6.

The bronzes went to Venezuela’s Jaimez Rojas Francia and Costa Rica’s Kseniia Ovsyannikova.

Ryan Rousell retained his title for Canada in the men’s sabre category A.

Rousell breezed through the preliminary rounds, finding himself in the final against Argentina’s Carlos Freitas.

The Argentinian proved no match for the Canadian, beating him 15-2, but Freitas will still be pleased with his first ever individual medal at this level with silver.

The duo of Kevin Damasceno and Alex Sandro Souza delighted the host nation, grabbing a bronze each.

In the men’s category B, the USA’s Noah Hanssen stunned the field by topping his first ever Americas podium.

Hanssen improved on his sixth place from 2022 against Vanderson Chaves in the final.

Chaves’ silver will be even more significant for him given his build-up to Sao Paulo 2024. The Brazilian lost his apartment and fencing equipment in floods in Porto Alegre.

There were more new faces elsewhere on the podium. Venezuela’s Numa Rojas Estrada won his first medal with bronze alongside Hector Fabio Molano Barrios on his major international debut for Colombia.

Damasceno, Chaves and Souza doubled their medal haul later in the day in the men’s sabre team.

As the defending champions, the pair faced the USA who pushed them all the way to 45 points.

William Schoonover, Tyler Gregory and Hanssen – also celebrating a second top three finish – kept in touch with the Brazilian trio throughout the match. Then two good shifts by Tyler and Hanssen saw them take the lead by one point heading into the final round.

The final face-off was between Schoonover and Damasceno. Unfortunately for the US Damasceno was too good and landed six hits to zero.

In the bronze medal match, Colombia’s Alexander Tapasco, Heyver Camacho and Hector Fabio Molano Barrios were victorious against Venezuela’s Wilfre Paz Simoza, Mario Ramones Vera and Rojas Estradao.

Rayssa Veras added to the host’s success in the last competition of the day in the women’s sabre category A.

In the semi-final the Brazilian faced teammate Fabiana Soares, who was flying high after seeing-off Canada’s defending champion Sylvie Morel who had to settle for bronze this time around.

In the final Veras controlled the match and pace well, reaching the magic 15 with a five-point buffer.

The 2024 Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships continue on Friday (16 May) with the men’s foil and women’s epee category A and B.