USA take historic first title, Brazil add to haul at Americas Champs

18/05/2024

The USA women topped their first ever Americas team epee podium in Sao Paulo on Saturday (18 May) beating defending champions and hosts Brazil at the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships.

The USA overcame Brazil by a whisker as Jataya Taylor managed to hold off a surge from Carminha Oliveira in the last round.

Shelby Mitchell, Ellen Geddes and Taylor crafted a five-point lead that was then dashed by Juliana Soares in her match against Mitchell, bringing Brazil to within one point of their rivals.

Taylor did well to put some clear air between herself and Oliveira, but the Brazilian kept coming back.

With just seconds left on the clock, Taylor just had to hold on. And hold on she did with the USA winning 19-18.

“This is our first gold medal as a team, it’s great to be fencing with all of these girls and looking forward to Paris,” Geddes said, celebrating her team’s historic victory.

Credit CBEsgrima

When asked about tactics in a match that featured an abundance of non-combativity, Geddes continued:

“It’s the type of epee I like to fence. It seemed like a good strategy and we were right, it worked! The level has raised in the Americas which is very good for us as we compete against the world.”

“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We’re training we’re pushing. Paris is nice but we’re really pushing for a strong team for LA 2028,” reserve Victoria Isaacson concluded.

Canada’s Amber Briar, Sylvie Morel and Trinity Lowthian were the bronze medallists.

Brazil never looked back from taking the lead in the third bout of their match between the USA in the men’s team foil.

Individual gold medallist Jovane Guissone was joined by Kevin Damasceno and Alex Sandro Sousa on the piste against Byron Branch, Scott Rodgers and William Schoonover.

Brazil’s lead never looked in doubt and the gold was sealed by a stylish sky hook from Damasceno against Branch.

An exciting conclusion to the bronze medal match between Colombia and Venezuela saw the Venezuelans execute a stunning comeback from 11 points behind.

Colombia’s Heyver Camacho, Eduardo Escobar and Alexander Tapasco were up 40-29 going into the last round.

However Venezuela’s Wilfre Paz Simoza was keen to show that his team were not to be underestimated, reaching 45 while only allowing Tapasco three touches of his own. Mario Ramones Veras and Numa Rojas Estrada also celebrated bronze.

The 2024 Wheelchair Fencing Americas Championships continues on Sunday with the women’s foil and men’s epee.

The competition is the penultimate qualifier for Paris 2024 ahead of a World Cup, also in Sao Paulo, from 23-26 May.