Crimson epee man Geza Tatrallyay, captain of last year's Harvard fencing squad, captured a silver medal in the Canadian National Fencing Championships last weekend in Montreal, finishing a surprising second in the field of 47.
Tatrallyay, a native of Don Mills, Ontario and a virtual unknown in Montreal, had run up an impressive 24-4 record in the bouting action to tie with George Varraljay for first place. In a fence-off to determine the Canadian epee titlist. Tatrallyay was nipped, 5-4, losing the gold medal by a sole touch.
The Tatrallyay-Varraljay match up turned out to be a classic duel, pairing off two fiercely competitive Hungarians for the title. Tatrallyay and Varraljay battled to a 4-4 tie in the special bout, before Harvard's All-Ivy and All-America performer bowed, 5-4.
The Last Touch
"I knew exactly what to do for the last touch." Tatrallyay said yesterday, "and I had two opportunities to score. I just blew my chances. On the third try, he nicked me on the wrist for the win."
Moments before the setback in the fence-off. Tatrallyay had defeated the same Varraljay, 5-4, in the last bout of the final round to send the title competition into a fence-off. In that bout Tatrallyay had rallied to knot the score, 4-4, with three seconds left in regulation time. At this point a tie would have done Tatrallyay no good. By international rules under which the Canadian Nationals were run, a tie is recorded as a double loss.
Consequently, with nothing to lose and time running out, Tatrallyay rushed Varraljay and scored the final touch to eke out a 5-4 win.
The win in the Canadian Nationals placed Tatrallyay in a strong position to make the Canadian Olympic team. Varraljay, Tatrallyay's only real competition last weekend, is not yet a Canadian citizen, which makes him ineligible to represent Canada in the Munich Olympics. Already there are plans in the making for Tatrallyay to intensity his training program with the Olympics in mind.