by Dennis Bowsher

The second World Cup in Ankara, Turkey kicked off with the women's qualification round, featuring 76 women across three groups vying to secure a spot in Thursday's semi-final. Team USA athletes were not only looking to advance but also to score national ranking points for the World Championships and Pan Am Games.

In Group A, Phaelen French represented Team USA in the first event of the day, the fencing round robin. Despite a rough start, French finished strong, winning three of her last four bouts for a total score of 187 points and a 22nd place finish. In the swimming event, French placed 5th in her heat with a time of 2:34, earning her 242 points and a 25th place finish. With a strong run and impressive shooting, French moved up two places and finished in 22nd place overall in her group with a time of 12:32 in the laser run.

USA's number 1 ranked athlete, Jessica Davis, competed in Group B. Davis finished 20th overall in the swimming event with a time of 2:26, earning her 257 points. Despite a slow start in fencing, losing her first five bouts, Davis rebounded to win 14 out of 19 bouts and finish 8th in the event with a score of 229. In the laser run, Davis finished in 14th place with a time of 12:25, putting her in 14th place overall for the day.

In Group C, Team USA had two athletes, Heidi Hendrick and Lorenza Savini. Savini finished 26th in the swimming event with a time of 2:43 and 25th in fencing with a score of 166, while Hendrick finished 9th in swimming with a time of 2:16 and 6th in fencing with a score of 222. In the laser run, Savini finished in 26th place with a time of 13:50, while Hendrick's time of 14:17 moved her down to 24th place overall.

Despite their efforts, no women from Team USA were able to advance to the semi-final, but all earned national ranking points towards future teams.

Day 2 featured 82 men from 27 countries competing to be in the top 12 in their respective groups and qualify for Friday's semi-final.

In Group A, Caleb Allen represented Team USA. Allen finished 17th overall in the swimming event with a time of 2:08, and 26th in fencing with a score of 173. Despite some pistol issues, Allen managed a time of 12:48 in the laser run, earning him a total of 999 points and a 26th place finish overall.

Group B had Tyler Evans and Tristen Bell representing Team USA. Bell finished 19th in fencing with a score of 208, while Evans finished 24th with a score of 180. Evans finished 13th overall in the swimming event with a time of 2:05, while Bell finished 17th with a time of 2:06. In the laser run, Evans finished in 19th place with a time of 10:56, while Bell's strong run and shoot earned him the 16th place finish with a time of 10:53.

Brendan Anderson was the sole representative for Team USA in Group C. Anderson finished 18th overall in the swimming event with a time of 2:06, and tied for 3rd in fencing with a strong performance. In the laser run, Anderson put together a great run and shoot, crossing the finish line in 12th place and securing his first semi-final qualification of the season.

Day 3 will have the fencing ranking round for the men's semi-final.  Anderson will look to position himself to move onto the final.

Go Team USA!

Coach Dennis

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