With the Toyko Olympic Games a year away, Shaul Gordon made quite the statement at the 2019 World Fencing Championships in Budapest.
The 25-year-old from Richmond finished a career best eighth in the Men’s Sabre competition, after losing a close bout in the quarter-finals.
The event began with 159 athletes and Gordon was seeded 46th among the top 64 in the elimination round. It’s the first time ever a Canadian fencer has cracked the top eight in sabre at the world championships.
Gordon defeated Iran’s 19th seed Ali Pakdaman (15-10) then got past Hansol Ha from Korea (15-13) to move onto the round of 16. There he faced third seed Kento Yoshida and came out on top 15-10 to advance to the quarter-finals. His day came to an end with a close 15-12 loss to world No. 6 Luca Curatoli of Italy.
“It was a great day and competition overall,” Gordon told Fencing Canada’s Caroline Sharpe following his last bout. “I just lost a close one so it’s hard to feel great at the moment but overall I am pleased with how I fenced at Worlds. I need to work on a few small details which will help me this season. I’m looking forward to the team competition.”
Gordon advanced to the final round after four wins and two losses in poules, followed by a 15-13 elimination round victory against Oleksiy Statsenko from the Ukraine.
“It was a very good performance for Shaul. The work he has done in the last few years has enabled him to get the result he had today,” said Canadian High Performance Director and Men’s Sabre Coach Benjamin Manano.
“It’s an outstanding day for Canadian sabre and a historical one too as we have never finished top 8 at the World Championships in sabre. Shaul’s result is also a reflection of the great work of personal coaches and athletes who work collaboratively in the sabre program in Canada.”
Gordon now resides and trains full-time in Montreal.
Following the team event in Budapest he will head to Peru for the Pan American Games.