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The Brooklyn Spectator
By Jaime DeJesus, homereporter.com
Brooklyn-trained fencer Romain Cannone continues to rise in the world ranks. During the Basel Junior World Cup in Switzerland last month, the 17-year-old, who trains at Coney Island’s New York Fencing Academy, defeated both the first and second world ranked fencers and took home the tournament’s bronze medal. As a result, the France native is ranked number one in the men’s epee under-20 category.
“I was a little too relaxed at first, but after that bout, the pressure kicked in,” said Cannone, who got off to a rocky start during the day’s semifinal match against Israel’s Yuval-Shalon Freilich, ranked number one in the world. Cannone started slow, losing 0-3.
“I had to wake up,” he recalled. “I turned it around to 5-3, and then Freilich got the next touch which started a debate. We continued to exchange touches and I was still down 12-14, but I wasn’t worried. I thought, I got this. I tied it 14-14, and then right at ‘fence!’ he faked deep and I counter-attacked for 14.”
Cannone’s strategy paid off as he defeated Freilich 15-14. Although Cannone eventually fell to Yan Sych of the Ukraine, 15-12, he earned bronze medal honors.
“When I get in the mode, I just play around. That’s when you can see what to do, you figure it out as you go,” he said regarding his strategy.
Next for the rising star, Cannone — who is currently on the junior national team — will compete at the final World Cup of the season in Latvia, and hopes qualify to compete in the World Championships in Uzbekistan. He also expects to participate in NCAA college fencing this fall.
Cannone told The Home Reporter that he attributed his success to the New York Fencing Academy. “They pretty much taught me everything,” he said. “The work has been worth it. (My coach) knows me very well. He knows how to get me focused.”