(RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL) – The United States’ Andras Horanyi (Boulder, Colo.) opened fencing action with a gold medal in individual foil competition on Saturday at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.



Horanyi clinched the gold medal with a strong 15-4 win over Felipe Alvear of Chile in the final round bout. After giving up the first touch of the match in the opening seconds of the first round, Horanyi controlled the action. He turned it up in the final minute of the first to take an 8-3 lead into the second round. Horanyi controlled to roll from there, winning the bout by a 15-4 margin at the 1:02 mark of the second round.

“I thought it (the gold medal performance) was wonderful, he corrected all of the mistakes he made earlier,” said Coach Nat Goodhartz. “He made a beautiful bout out of it (the gold medal match). The last two bouts, he really fenced well. He controlled the action, he controlled the distance, he was wonderful.”

Listen to an interview with Nat Goodhartz:


He advanced to final round action with four victories following pool competition, including two over home-strip boxers from Brazil. Horanyi opened the event with a strong showing in pool competition, winning four of his five bouts. The 2007 NCAA National Champion dropped only his first bout, losing a 4-3 bout to Enrique Da Silva of Venezuela. Yet Horayni rebounded well, winning his four matches in Pool Three action to earn the number five seed and a bye in the first round.

“I was fencing very well, every opponent is different so you can’t do the same thing with every person,” Horanyi said. “I was a little anxious and I started out too fast and that was not so smart. I just slowed down a little bit and prepared my action a little more.”

He opened direct elimination action with a preliminary contest with Cuba’s David Castillo. Horanyi led throughout his opening direct elimination bout, scoring in the first 10 seconds of a close first round. The Ohio State fencer took an 8-5 lead after the first round and continued to build his advantage throughout the next 90 seconds before hitting the 15-touch mark halfway through the second round to win the bout and advance to quarterfinal action.

He faced a tougher match-up in his quarterfinal contest, facing both his opponent and the crowd in a bout with Brazil’s Heitor Shimbo. Horanyi moved out to the first lead, holding a 2-0 edge with just over a minute remaining in the round. His lead didn’t last long as Shimbo swung the momentum, snatching the lead away from Horanyi. Shimbo took a one-point lead into the second round where the momentum continued to swing between the two fencers. The two competed to a 7-7 tie after two rounds and the bout went into the final round up for grabs. Horanyi enjoyed a strong third round, finding the distance he was looking for en route to a 13-10 victory and a berth in the semifinal round.

“The toughest bout was Shimbo because he figured me out early so I had a lot of trouble adjusting, but after that bout, I was fencing very well,” Horanyi said.

His semifinal bout featured a match-up with a Brazilian foe as well with Horanyi facing Joao Souza. The hometown fencer took the early edge in the match, but it was Horanyi enjoying a 6-3 lead after one round. He doubled his advantage in the second to take a 14-8 lead after six minutes of fencing. Horanyi needed only 18 seconds in the third round to hit the 15-point mark, winning the bout and a berth in the final round.

Horanyi’s victory continues the Pan Am winning streak for the United States following a gold and silver medal winning performance in men’s individual foil at the 2003 Pan American Games. Hanna Thompson (Rochester, N.Y.) will take the strip on Sunday at the Riocentro Sports Complex Pavilion Three, competing in women’s individual foil competition.

Men’s Individual Foil Medalists
1. Andras Horanyi, Boulder, Colo./USA
2. Felipe Alvear, Chile
3. Joao Souza, Brazil
4. Carlos Rodriguez, Venezuela