July 9, 2014
CANADIAN FENCING FEDERATION NOMINATES ATHLETES TO COMPETE AT THE NANJING 2014 YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
TORONTO – The Canadian Fencing Federation is proud to announce the athletes that have been nominated to the Canadian Olympic Committee to represent Canada at the 2014 Youth Olympics Games in Nanjing, China from August 16th-28th. The fencing competition will take place from August 17th to 20th.
Dylan French from Richmond, British Columbia will be competing in the Men’s Epee event. Joining Dylan and the Canadian Team, will be Ottawa, Ontario-native Jenny Zhao, who will compete in the Women’s Foil event.
Dylan French will look to continue to maintain Canada’s competitiveness in the Men’s Epee event in Nanjing. Canada took home the bronze medal for Men’s Epee at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. French, who finished on the podium taking bronze in Men’s Cadet Epee at the World Championships in Bulgaria this past April, could very well win a medal at these Games.
“Dylan’s goal is to win a medal and it is certainly within his reach,” states his coach Victor Gantsevich (Richmond, BC) who will be with him in China. “Dylan is coming off a great year at the International level. Dylan is extremely disciplined, goal-oriented and learns from his mistakes. Participating in this Olympic atmosphere will help his development and give him experience for the future when he completes for Canada at the Olympic Games.”
To go along with his podium finish at the World Championships in Bulgaria, French also finished 5th in the Junior Men’s Epee category. Along with his recent success in the world cadet and junior fencing circuit, French has claimed his fair share of Canadian National medals, 14 to be exact, and was recently recognized by the Canadian Fencing Federation as both the Cadet and Junior Male Athlete of the Year.
“It is an honour to be able to represent my country and the Canadian Fencing Federation at the Youth Olympic Games,” says French. “It will be a great learning opportunity for me.”
Jenny Zhao qualified for the Youth Olympic Games by earning an eleventh place finish in the women’s foil event at the Cadet World Championships in Bulgaria. At just 17 years of age, Zhao has been a strong force in Canadian fencing events, taking home both silver and gold in the Junior Foil and Cadet Foil event respectively at Canada Cup competitions in 2013.
These Youth Olympic Games serve as a great opportunity for international tournament experience for Zhao, but they serve more than just that. They are also a chance for her to finish on the podium. “Her goals are to perform and rise to the occasion. If she fences to her potential, a medal is a possibility,” says Zhao’s coach Paul ApSimon.
Described by her coach as a tenacious, powerful and competitive fencer, it is to no surprise that Zhao has been amping up her training regimen over the past three months in preparation for the Games in August. Zhao has been working with a conditioning coach and mental performance consultant to improve both her physical and mental game and is also training with the Canadian Senior Women’s Foil team.
Although marvelling at the chance to fence against the top fencers in the world in her age group, Zhao is most excited for the Athlete’s Village experience. “Funnily enough, the thing I am most excited for is the Athletes’ Village experience, such as rooming with top athletes from Canada, eating different foods from all around the world and even just being in the village.”
Be on the lookout for updates from the Canadian Fencing Federation on the progress of these two Canadian fencers as they compete in Nanjing, China from August 17th-20th.
Canadian Fencing Federation Contacts:
Canadian Olympic Committee:
Jane Almeida, Senior Manager, Media Relations
Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations