LONDON – The red light came on and, just like that, Miles Chamley-Watson’s Olympic ride was over.
Chamley-Watson, a Penn State student whose family lives in Center City, was defeated in his very first match in the foil competition Tuesday morning. Egyptian Alaaeldin Abouelkassem, a cat-quick lefthander, used Chamley-Watson’s aggressive style against him for a 15-10 victory.
“I started off OK,” Chamley-Watson said.” I missed a couple of crucial touches. He capitalized on those. I just really didn’t take advantage of my opportunities very well. It’s 100 percent my fault. He fenced well. That’s all you can say.”
The fight was close in the early going. Chamley-Watson fell behind 6-3, then rallied to tie the score at 6 after a brief chat with coach Simon Gershon.
The score was 8-7, in favor of Abouelkassem, when Chamley-Watson thrust at his opponent. The red light, indicating a point for Abouelkassem, blinked on.
Chamley-Watson took off his helmet and folded his arms and glared at the judges. After a brief review, the point was awarded to Abouelkassem.
The 21-year-old Egyptian scored the next point from his knees, then shook off a blow to the head (after a quick visit from a member of the medical staff).
The more aggressive Chamley-Watson got, the more patient Abouelkassem became. He continued to score, finally sealing the victory at 15-10.
“That’s how I usually fence,” Chamley-Watson said. “It just sucks that I missed a bunch of touches like that. It sucks. What can you do?”