‘En garde!’ and the sound of swords clashing could be heard from the gym at 15 Wing Moose Jaw as approximately 65 fencers were in town for the annual Wheatland Open provincial tournament.
“We usually have closer to 50 athletes and that’s a strong showing, so it was certainly a lot more people than normal,” said Jennifer Shrubsole from the Moose Jaw Matadors.
The Matadors welcomed fencers from around the province over the weekend and the local club had a great showing. The club had 10 fencers compete in the tournament and finished with five bronze medals and several top 10 finishes.
“I think it was a excellent showing that we could send so many people that were at that position that they were able to compete,” she said. “That was the most number of our fencers who have gone to the tournament or at least matches the record.”
The tournament was held for varied skill levels and of all age groups, including one that was nine years old up to adults. The athletes were put in groups that were fairly even. In each group, there would be stronger fencers and weaker fencers, but by doing it that way, the sport and fencers remain competitive.
“Three fencers were in their very first tournament, some that are new to the competitive stage and some that are at a high skill level. We had someone here that was a former under-17 world champion and national team members,” explained Shrubsole. “Some people had some surprise wins and some expected wins. There was quite a bit of good fencing.”
Those that won bronze medals from the Matadors included Colton Pratt (Cadet Mixed Epee), Joe McKay (Senior Mixed Sabre), Jennifer Shrubsole (Master Mixed Foil) and Chris Rasmussen won double bronze in Senior Mixed Sabre and Master Mixed Foil.
“It was a definite success this weekend for the Matadors,” said Shrubsole.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.