(August 7) – Ruben and Jesus Limardo battled for the gold medal in the Men’s Individual Epee fencing competition at Lima 2019, becoming the first brothers to compete in the final in the history of the Pan American Games.
The exciting fencing competitions began at the Lima Convention Center on August 5 with the Men’s Epee and Women’s Foil events. In the midst of the euphoria for those in attendance was an event that will forever be remembered in the history books of the Pan American Games. For the first time ever, two brothers competed for the title of Pan American Champion in the Men’s Epee.
The great story of the Limardo family continues to be written, a family of fencers that has given Venezuela the most important results in the sport throughout its history. Another chapter was added at Lima 2019, as Ruben Limardo, an Olympic champion at London 2012 and two-time Pan American Games Champion, squared off against the youngest of his brothers, Jesus Limardo, himself a bronze medalist at the 2013 World Youth Championship.
“I always dreamed of going to a final with one of my brothers. At Toronto 2015, Francisco was on our fencing team but could not make the final and I ended up facing another opponent for the gold, but this time our dream was fulfilled and we both made it. My brother Jesus is very strong and he got to that stage on his own merit. We did not hold anything back in that battle because we both wanted to write our own history,” said the last Olympic Champion from Venezuela who now also owns four Pan American Games medals.
Ruben is a three-time individual Champion (Rio 2007, Toronto 2015, Lima 2019) and Team Epee Champion (Toronto 2015), as well as a three-time silver medalist, making him the most decorated epee fencer in the history of the Games.
To make it to the gold medal final, the youngest brother of the fencing dynasty, Jesus Limardo, beat Athos Schwantes of Brazil 15-6 in the quarterfinals, Jhon Edinson Rodriguez of Colombia in an exciting sudden death match that ended in a 11-10 score after being tied at 10 at the end of regulation.
“I am very happy to compete in a final in my first Pan American Games and what could be better than against Ruben who is like a father to me. These Games gave us a very special opportunity to show we are the best in the region. I am proud to know that we gave everything to Venezuela, both the gold and silver,” said Jesus who recorded the best competition differential in the pool round and was in first after the elimination stage. At 23, he now looks forward to his potential Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
On his path, Ruben defeated Nicolas Ferreira of Brazil in the round of 16, Jesus Lugones of Argentina in the quarterfinals and in the semifinal — as fate would have it — he also advanced to the final after a sudden death match against Cuba’s Yunior Reytor with the score also being 11-10.
But the Limardo family does not rest after achieving historic greatness in the individual competition, as they now prepare for the Team Epee with all three of the fencing brothers. They will continue to try and redefine the history of Fencing in the Americas by becoming the first trio of brothers to win a Team Epee fencing gold at the Pan American Games. The Venezuelan team will be composed of Ruben, Jesus and Francisco, the latter having experience in three Pan American Games with a silver medal at Guadalajara 2011 and a gold at Toronto 2015.