World number one Alexander Massialas confirmed his form heading into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by earning men’s foil gold at the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Shanghai Grand Prix today.
The 22-year-old, who secured World Championship silver in 2015, was the only American fencer to progress past the last 32 stage of the competition at the Westgate Shopping Mall.
He continued to advance through the rounds in impressive style, including earning 15-13 quarter-final victory over Italy’s Daniele Garozzo in quarter-finals before beating China’s Haiwei Chen 15-14 in the last four.
Lee Kwang-hyun would provide the opposition in the gold medal contest, having achieved a stunning turnaround in his semi-final tie.
The South Korean fencer had found himself 7-0 down to Italy’s Alessio Foconi, but hit back to eventually emerge as a 15-13 winner.
However, Lee was unable to mount a similar recovery in the final as Massialas quickly brushed his opponent aside to earn a 15-5 win.
“It’s amazing,” Massialas said afterwards.
“I love coming to Shanghai, I feel very comfortable here.
“Having my mother being Chinese and my grandmother actually from Shanghai, it means a lot for me to win this tournament and make myself one of the contenders for the Rio Olympic gold medal.”
With the Grand Prix season having drawn to a close attention will now turn to be the European and Pan American Championships, which are due to take place in Toruń and Panama City later this month
The competitions will offer fencers a final chance to boost their rankings ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.