The fourth World Cup of the 2011 season opened on Thursday in Chengdu, China, with the women's semifinals. Rendy Lynn Opdycke (Mercer Island, Wash.) competed in Group A and Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.) competed in Group B.
Opdycke had 10 victories and 17 defeats (712 points) in the fencing competition and Stettinius posted 15 victories and 12 defeats (872 points).
Both women followed the fencing with solid swimming times in a relatively “slow” pool. Opdycke posted a time of 2:16.06 (5th place in her group) and Stettinius clocked in at 2:24.01. Heading into the combined event, both U.S. athletes were on pace to qualify for Saturday's final. Opdycke stood in 16th place and Stettinius was 9th. A top-18 finish was needed to advance to the finals.
But the Americans had a rough go of it in the combined run/shoot. Opdycke spent more than two minutes on the shooting range and found the running in the hot and humid environment very challenging. She finished in 14:44.93 and placed 26th.
Stettinius encountered problems sighting her gun during the warm-up and also spent over two minutes on the shooting range, finishing the event in a time of 14:06.40 and dropping to 25th place.
The U.S. men's team of Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa.), Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas), Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.) and Nathan Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.) will compete in Friday's qualification round in an attempt to advance to Sunday's final.