Four young Venezuelan fencers supported by the BenitezVen Foundation were victorious in the fencing competition of the 2017 South American Youth Sports Games, held in Santiago, Chile from September 29 to October 2. Hender Medina, Andrés Argote, Luis Caballero and Crelia Ramos each won medals in individual events; the Games feature 20 different sports overall.
‘These are athletes sponsored by the BenitezVen Foundation who have attended international fencing zonal championships (South American and Pan American) with everything financed by us’, said four-time Olympic fencer Alejandra Benitez (VEN). ‘These events helped them prepare for the South American Youth Sports Games.’
‘They topped the best of the national rankings in their category and continued to represent Venezuela in Chile’, she added. ‘We are very pleased to have collaborated to develop these talented fencers. In many smaller sports categories, such as fencing, few people believe they can succeed—which is when the Foundation is willing to lend a hand and promote fencing at a grassroots level. Many of them have traveled with us in earlier in a children's category, where few believed there was no worthy investment. This proves the opposite.’
Hender Medina took gold in men’s individual sabre, receiving only 18 touches in three bouts. In the quarter-finals he dominated Juan Pérez of Paraguay 15-1; in the semi-finals he beat Miguel Manrique of Bolivia, 15-3; and in the final overcame Roberto Monsalvo of Chile, 15-14. Overall, Medina was the athlete with the best number of touches achieved (40-16).
Andrés Argote had a very strong gold-medal finish, overtaking Dante Cerquetti of Argentina, 15-11. In the quarter-finals, he beat Bolivian Mateo Granda, 15-1, and in the semifinals took Chilean Román Alarcón, 15-10. Argote fenced well in the pools (pre-elimination) stage, emerging fourth highest-ranked of the event.
Luis Caballero took a bronze medal in men’s individual epee. The Venezuelan lost in the semi-finals to Joaquín Bustos of Chile, 15-8, after beating Paraguayan Hugo Cacace in the quarter-finals, 15-11. Crelia Ramos did the same in women’s individual sabre, losing to Colombian Jessica Morales in the semi-final, 15-13. In the quarter-finals, she defeated Argentina's Lio De La Fuente, 15-11.
About the BenitezVen Foundation
The BenitezVen Foundation was created in 2010 and since 2012 formally works in three axes: 1) reaching boys and girls in fencing clubs, with loans and equipment donations for sports practice; 2) supporting athletes, in different logistical aspects and 3) social work, such as the BenítenVez Foundation carrying-out multiple exhibitions, toy delivery and motivational talks. The organization has benefited athletes from soccer, athletics, basketball, sambo, swimming and organizations such as ‘Bandidos de Un Solo Brazo’.