Miles Chamley-Watson

Miles Chamley-Watson
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Three more U.S. fencers qualify for Rio Olympics

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Foil fencers Miles Chamley-WatsonLee Kiefer and Nzingha Prescod qualified for their second Olympic teams over the weekend.

The U.S. Olympic team across all sports is now up to 47 qualified athletes.

Chamley-Watson, a former world No. 2 and the only U.S. man to earn a World or Olympic title (2013 Worlds) in any fencing event, joins world No. 1 Alexander Massialas and world No. 3 Gerek Meinhardt on the U.S. Olympic men’s foil team.

All three will compete individually and in the team event in Rio.

A fourth American, world No. 4 Race Imboden, will serve as a replacement athlete for the team event but is not on the official U.S. Olympic team until he competes in Rio, should he be used.

Chamley-Watson is ranked No. 10 in the world but beat out Imboden in U.S. Fencing points standings for Olympic qualification.

In 2012, Chamley-Watson, Imboden and Massialas competed individually at the Olympics, with none getting past the round of 16. Those three and Meinhardt also finished fourth in the 2012 Olympic team event. The U.S. last earned an Olympic men’s foil medal in 1960.

On the women’s side, Kiefer and Prescod also clinched their second Olympic berths over the weekend. There is no women’s foil team event at the Rio Olympics, so Kiefer and Prescod will not be joined by any more U.S. women’s foil fencers.

Kiefer is ranked No. 4 in the world. Prescod is No. 10.

At the 2015 World Championships, Prescod lost in the semifinals, receiving a bronze medal, and Kiefer fell in the quarterfinals.

The U.S. has once earned an Olympic women’s foil medal, a silver in the Beijing 2008 team event.

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Two more fencers qualify for U.S. Olympic team

Alexander Massialas
AP
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Nowhere is the U.S. more deep in fencing than in men’s foil, with four of the top 10 in the world.

Two of those four qualified for the Rio Olympics based on rankings updated after a competition last weekend — world No. 1 Alexander Massialas and No. 6 Gerek Meinhardt.

Expect No. 5 Race Imboden and No. 10 Miles Chamley-Watson to join them on the Rio team, qualifying by mid-April. That quartet also made up the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s foil team.

They are the 19th and 20th members of the U.S. Olympic team across all sports. View the complete roster here.

Imboden and Chamley-Watson are now battling to see who will be the third individual U.S. men’s foil fencer in Rio, with the fourth going to the Games as a possible competitor in the team event only.

Though Imboden is ranked higher internationally, it’s Chamley-Watson who controls his own destiny as he is better-placed in U.S. Fencing rankings that determine the Rio roster.

Since 2014, Massialas, Meinhardt and Imboden have all been ranked No. 1 in the world at one time or another. Chamley-Watson is a former world No. 2 and the only U.S. man to earn a World or Olympic title (2013 Worlds) in any fencing event.

Massialas took silver and Meinhardt bronze at the 2015 World Championships. Imboden reached the round of 16. Chamley-Watson lost in the first round to German Peter Joppich, a four-time World champion.

At the London Olympics, Massialas and Imboden were eliminated in the round of 16 and Chamley-Watson in the round of 32.

Meinhardt, who competed at Beijing 2008 as the youngest U.S. Olympic fencer ever, joined them in the team event, where the U.S. fell in the semifinals and the bronze-medal matchup. All were age 22 and younger at the London Games.

With four of the top 10 in the world, the U.S. could go into Rio as the favorite in the team event, though it fell in the 2015 Worlds quarterfinals to eventual champion Italy.

U.S. women’s sabre fencers Mariel Zagunis and Ibtihaj Muhammad qualified for the Olympics the previous weekend.

VIDEO: Chamley-Watson takes fencing to New York City streets

Miles Chamley-Watson takes fencing to New York City streets (video)

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Miles Chamley-Watson may be an Olympian and World champion, but many people with those titles can walk the streets of New York with nobody looking twice.

It’s a different story when he’s in competition uniform.

Chamley-Watson showed just how useful his fencing training, stances and equipment — especially his foil blade — can be.

The 25-year-old Chamley-Watson just missed an Olympic medal three years ago, finishing fourth with the U.S. foil team in London. He also fell in the round of 32 in the individual foil.

Chamley-Watson, a 6-foot-4, tattooed model, rebounded to win the 2013 World Championship individually. 

However, he is not assured of making the Rio Olympic team.

Chamley-Watson is ranked No. 11 in the world, behind three other Americans — No. 1 Race Imboden, No. 3 Alexander Massialas and No. 8 Gerek Meinhardt.
A maximum of three Americans can compete individually in Rio in the foil. Three would also compete in the team event, with, possibly, a fourth fencer as a replacement athlete who could be subbed in and out during the team event rounds.

MORE FENCING: How much longer will Mariel Zagunis compete?