Jamaican teen wins Pan-Am Fencing Champs

Jamaicans can claim another victory.

Their 15-year-old, Tia Simms-Lymn snatched the gold at the Cadet Junior Pan-American Fencing Championships in Toronto, Canada and is now the first of her gender from the island to be crowned a Pan-American champion.

Prior to the 20-nation contest, the teenager was ranked number seven in the women’s duel which requires command of a specific sword technique in fencing known as epee.

Competing against the best fencers from 20 countries from the region,Simms-Lymn beat Canada’s best – Alexanne Verret to claim the title.

A release from the Jamaican Fencing Federation said Tia first faced the 10th ranked fencer, Catalina Leiva of Chile.

She beat her 15-6 to advance to the next round.

Next she defeated Monica Lubczynski of Puerto Rico 15-13.

It was that win at a close margin that secured her a place in the final.

From there, she dashed all hopes for Canada retaining the coveted top position by beating the number one seed by an impressive 11-9.

Executing “a mature display of craftsmanship and artistry,” the young champion made history for her tiny island.

Now ranked number two in England where Simms-Lymn was born, in Jamaica she is number one, pioneer, role model and champion.

The JFF statement said the organization was encouraged by the gold and will continue to introduce the sport in schools.

It added that they will move “aggressively to inaugurate a school competition in the last quarter of this year.”

“There are also plans to engage an overseas expert as the national coach by the end of March, but funding remains a challenge.”

“Interest, however, in the sport in Jamaica is steadily growing and with fencing role models such as Tia, it may very well be one of the disciplines that will blaze the trail in the future.”

Other potential winners on the horizon to represent the island include: Caitlin Chang, Allison Miller, and Donovan Deans.

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