Colorado Springs, Colo. – The 2017 USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge is set to break new records when the world’s largest fencing tournament comes to Salt Lake City from July 1-10.
The 10-day event will draw an estimated 4,222 fencers from 47 states and 428 clubs. With 8,877 entries approved for the event, the tournament could surpass the 12-day 2014 USA Fencing National Championships as the largest fencing tournament in history.
"Salt Lake City has been a great host to USA Fencing athletes and families at Championships and North American Cups over the last two Olympic cycles and we are pleased to have this opportunity to bring the world's largest fencing tournament to Utah," said USA Fencing Senior Director of Operations Christine Strong-Simmons (Colorado Springs, Colo.) "We are so excited to partner with Visit Salt Lake and the Utah Sports Commission to make the Summer Nationals an outstanding experience in the host city for the 2002 Olympic Games.”
Competition will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Halls 1-5 with medals awarded daily. All events are free and open to the public.
"It is great having USA Fencing host its national tournament here in Utah,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “This event continues to build our brand as 'The State of Sport' and we know it will have significant economic impact to our state.”
The USA Fencing National Championships features individual competition in categories from Youth 10 to Veteran +70 with athletes ranging from ages eight to 94. The July Challenge includes Division I, Junior and Cadet individual events as well as a senior team competition. Both tournaments include events in all three weapons: epee, foil and saber.
With the top fencers in the nation competing at the Salt Palace, eight of the 84 events being contested will field more than 200 competitors each. Y14 men’s foil and Junior men’s epee are scheduled to be the largest events of the tournament with 284 and 281 competitors, respectively.
Not only will national titles be awarded in Salt Lake, but the Summer Nationals serves as the final selection tournament for the 2017 Veteran World Championship Team with the top four athletes on the National Team Point Standings in the 50-59, 60-69 and +70 age categories earning the opportunity to represent Team USA.
In addition to the competition taking place in Salt Lake City, nine members of the 2016 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will be in town to train in preparation for the 2017 Senior World Championships which begin in Leipzig, Germany on July 19.