Cuban fencing team visits Brandeis and takes gold

Ten representatives of Cuba’s fencing team participated in an annual fencing event at Brandeis and dominated their competitive field.

cuban fencing teamPhoto/Friends of Brandeis Fencing

The Cuban national women's saber team

Representatives of the Cuban national women’s fencing team were at Brandeis on June 18 and 19 for the 2017 Pomme de Terre, an open tournament that takes place annually inside the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center.

Each year, the Pomme de Terre attracts athletes from all over the world, including some of the best American fencers, and is viewed as a tune-up for the United States’ national championships, which take place during Fourth of July week.

Ten Cuban women’s saberists participated in the Pomme de Terre. They took home the gold, silver and bronze medals and had five fencers finish inside the top eight in the individual women’s saber event, which consisted of 50 fencers.

The Cubans also took gold in the team event.

“I’ve seen Cuban fencers compete now and then, but of course I was glad to have them at the Pomme de Terre and at Brandeis,” said Judges fencing coach Bill Shipman. “They added a level of quality and prestige. They were clearly the best saber fencers there.

“More broadly, I suppose it’s a sort of tradition that the Pomme de Terre is held at Brandeis each year, and I think it’s very good for Brandeis. It’s excellent exposure for our school and our fencing program.”

Though it is common for international fencers to visit Brandeis for the Pomme de Terre, having Cubans compete is a rare occurrence given travel restrictions between Cuba and the U.S. During their stay in the Boston area, the Cuban fencers were hosted at the International Fencing Club in West Roxbury by head coach and owner Cesar Morales, a native Cuban who served as an assistant coach for Judges from 1997 to 2002.

Categories: Athletics, General, International Affairs

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