(Montreal) Three Quebecers took part Monday in fencing at the Epee Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar. Malinka Hoppe Montanaro is the only one of the lot to have made it out of the group stage, making her way to the preliminary draw of 64.
In her last duel of the day, Hoppe Montanaro lost in a hard-fought duel against Italian Sara Maria Kowalczyk by a score of 15-13.
“I was very confident before this duel, even though I know that there are never easy matches. I took the lead by two touches at one point, but it was very close and we analyzed each other a lot. I broke down a little towards the end. I triggered certain attacks when it was not the time and she took advantage of them to regain the lead. I’m disappointed, but there are a lot of positives to come from it,” said the Quebecer in an interview with Sportcom.
Hoppe Montanaro finishes the Grand Prix at 77e step.
Earlier in the day, Hoppe Montanaro had qualified for the preliminary table of 128 thanks to his record of four wins and two losses in the group. In this phase she defeated the Australian Emily Principe, the Venezuelan Lizzie Asis, the Spaniard Sara Fernandez Calleja and the British Katrina Smith Taylor.
“I had very good feelings in the group, it was going pretty well, but I had two defeats. A 4-2 record is not catastrophic, although it is certain that I would still like to win everything in the group to avoid the table of 128,” indicated Hoppe Montanaro.
The Quebecer then had a meeting with the American Amanda Pirkowski whom she managed to defeat by a score of 15-10 to advance to the next round against Kowalczyk.
“I was down 0-2 at the start of the match and then I managed to score five points in a row to take control. I continued to widen the gap until the end of the match to win. »
As for the other Quebecers in action, Marie-Frédérique Millette and Alexanne Verret submitted identical records of two victories and four defeats. They were unable to advance to the next round and finished 156 respectively.e and 158e.
Away from competition for almost a year after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament, Malinka Hoppe Montanaro had to be patient before returning to competition. Now that those troubles are behind her, the 30-year-old is ready to pick up where she left off before the injury.
“I was very patient and really well looked after. I had surgery in July 2022 and I slowly resumed training while sitting, which allowed me to work on new things, improve my hand play and strengthen my knee. It was still a pretty difficult time,” she explained.
“Since September, I’m really back to 100% with my new knee. There are positives since this return. I was afraid at first, but now everything is fine. For the future, I want to continue to improve and it is certain that at the next competition, I will aim for a better result than here, in Doha. I have to remain patient on the track, I have worked on this a lot recently, I have to channel these impulses if I want to do things well,” added Hoppe Montanaro.
The Quebecer will have the chance to put all this into action on February 9 and 10 during the Epee World Cup in Barcelona, Spain.