Category Archives: US Fencing News

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USA Olympic hopefuls tune up for World Cup season at October NAC in Kansas

A clutch of Olympians have battled a new generation of U.S. fencing talent at the North American Cup held in Kansas from October 18-21.

The October North American Cup is the first of four qualification tournaments to determine the US Team selection for Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Medals were up for grabs in Division I, Division II, Cadet and Paralympic categories over four days of competition, though only the Division I events impact team selection for the 2020 Games.

View this post on Instagram It’s been four years since we’ve gotten to see @leetothekiefer at a NAC, but she came back where she left off … winning another Div I foil gold to kick off the new season with a stack of qualifying points. Now off to the OTC for women’s foil training camp! #RoadToTokyo #OctoberNAC #usafencing A post shared by USA Fencing (@usfencing) on Oct 20, 2019 at 4:13pm PDT

Among the leading lights to live up to their favoritism in Division I was two-time Olympian and four-time NCAA individual champion, Lee Kiefer, in Women’s Foil. Having not appeared at a North American Cup for four years, she beat 17-year-old Nicole Pustilnik 15-8 in their final to get her season off to the perfect start.

In the Men’s Division I Foil, 2019 Junior World Champion and two-time NCAA champion Nick Itkin saw off a strong field to defeat two-time Olympian and 2013 World Champion Miles Chamley-Watson, 15-9. Fellow Olympians Alexander Massialas and Gerek Meinhardt finished third and fifth, respectively.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B34hXp1jkRE

In the Women’s Division I Epee, Isis Washington won her third career title over experienced two-time Olympian Courtney Hurley, 15-13, with fellow Olympians including sister Kelley Hurley, Katharine Holmes and Catherine Nixon all bowing out at the table of 16 stage to younger opponents.

In the Men’s Division I Epee, Yeisser Ramirez was something of an upset winner over 2012 World Champion and two-time Olympian Soren Thompson, who is making a return to the sport, winning their final 15-5. Favorites Curtis McDowald and Jake Hoyle were both knocked out in the tables of 16 and 64, respectively.

View this post on Instagram Mariel’s quest to qualify for a fifth straight Olympic Games continues with a gold medal win at the #OctoberNAC! In a field of Olympic and World medalists, the next generation came up big today with six of the eight medalists still being juniors or cadets. A post shared by USA Fencing (@usfencing) on Oct 21, 2019 at 1:42pm PDT

In the Women’s Division I Saber competition, Mariel Zagunis began her campaign for a fifth straight Olympics with a win over Nora Burke, 15-10 in the final, after number one seed, Chloe Fox-Gitomer, fell in the table of 16. 

In the Men’s Division I Saber event, Egypt’s Ziad Elsissy was too strong for Rio Olympic silver medallist Daryl Homer, winning 15-11 in their final on day one of competition.

See the full results of the October NAC on Fencing Time Live here. 
USA Olympic hopefuls tune up for World Cup season at October NAC in Kansas


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Youth Olympic Fencing Wraps Up in Buenos Aires

After four days of fencing in Argentina, US athletes have walked away with one silver and one bronze from individual competition.
2018 Cadet World Champion Kenji Bravo has taken silver in the men’s foil and May Tieu, who was a runner-up in the same championships, has taken bronze in the women’s foil at the Youth Olympics currently underway in Buenos Aries, Argentina.
Fencing against most of the best young fencers in the world, Bravo looked comfortable in most of his early bouts, before coming up against Denmark’s Jonas Winterberg-Poulsen in the semifinal, which Bravo edged out 15-13. In the final, French fencer Armand Spichiger was too good, defeating a drained Bravo, 15-7.
In the women’s foil, May Tieu was also convincing in the early rounds, bullying her opposition until falling to a very strong Martina Favaretto from Italy 15-5. In the bronze medal match she narrowly out touched Venezuela’s Anabella Acurero Gonzalez 8-7 to complete one of the biggest results of her career to date. Robert Vidovszky missed out on bronze after going down 15-10 to Mazen Elaraby in their medal bout.
In the team competition, which was a mixed gender and mixed weapon event, an Americas team featuring Vidovszky, Bravo, Tieu, Isaac Herbst and Emily Vermeule from the USA defeated a European team 30-24 to win bronze. In the gold medal match, Europe 1 defeated an Asia-Oceania team 28-25.
The Youth Olympics continues in Buenos Aries until October 18 and features 241 events in 32 sports. 206 countries including first-time participants South Sudan and Kosovo are taking part.
Full Results
Men’s Sabre
1. Krisztian Rabb (HUN)
2. Jun Hyun (KOR)
3. Mazen Elaraby (EGY)
Women’s Foil
1. Yuka Ueno (JPN)
2. Martina Favaretto (ITA)
3. May Tieu (USA)
Men’s Epee
1. Davide di Veroli (ITA)
2. Paul Veltrup (GER)
3. Khasan Baudunov (KGZ)
Women’s Epee
1. Kateryna Chorniy (UKR)
2. Kaylin Sin Yan Hsieh (HKG)
3. Veronika Bieleszoka (CZE)
Women’s Sabre
1. Liza Pusztai (HUN)
2. Natalia Botello Cervantes (MEX)
3. Jueun Lee (KOR)
Men’s Foil
1. Armand Spichiger (FRA)
2. Kenji Bravo (USA)
3. Jonas Winterberg-Poulsen (DEN)
Youth Olympic Fencing Wraps Up in Buenos Aires


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International Fencing Day, Team USA Awards Recap

Dershwitz, Hurley and the Women’s Foil team sweep Team USA Award’s Best of July honors
The heroics of American fencers Eli Dershwitz, Courtney Hurley and the Women’s foil team at the recently completed World Championships in China have earned them top honors at the Team USA Awards Best of July.
Courtney Hurley has been named the Team USA Awards Female Athlete of the Month for July after she became the first U.S fencer in history to win an individual world championship medal in the epee with bronze, before backing that up with gold in the team event, also a first world championship medal of any kind for an American women’s epee team. Having had what she described as a ‘rough year’, the 27-year-old ended it in style, and won the award with 41 percent* of the vote.
“It’s been a long rough year that ended so ‘friggan amazingly!” she said on her Instagram account prior to the announcement. “A roller coaster of emotions all year and my body/mind need a long vacation!”
Other nominees for the Best of July award included tennis legend Serena Williams and Rio Olympic silver medallist, backstroke swimmer Kathleen Baker.
Notably, Courtney’s twin sister and epee teammate Kelley announced on her own account that the pair would soon be moving to Paris in September to begin their preparation for Tokyo 2020.
“Some exciting news to finally share! Some of you already know, but @thishurleygurrl and I are moving to Paris! More specifically we will be training with @levavasseurdaniel in St. Maur. We decided we wanted a fun and good change to perhaps make our final push to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020!”
Daniel Levavasseur is a French fencing master specializing in epee that has coached nine athletes and teams to Olympic gold over a glittering coaching career that began with the French junior team in 1981. He currently serves as the head coach of the Chinese national epee team and personal coach to 2012 Olympic team gold medalist Sun Yujie.
Eli Dershwitz was named Male Athlete of the Month after he won his first ever world championship medal, the silver in the men’s saber, which capped a remarkable season for the 22-year-old. At it’s conclusion he had secured the world number one ranking, the silver medal and the overall World Cup title (the first US men’s sabre fencer to do so), as well as his second straight NCAA title back in March.
Others nominated in his category were track and field athlete Noah Lyles and tennis player John Isner, who reached this year’s Wimbledon semifinals.
The Team of the Month went to the Women’s Foil team, who won the United States first-ever world championship gold in the event – male or female. Upsetting reigning Olympic and World Champion Italy in the final, the team of Lee Kiefer, Nzingha Prescod, Nicole Ross and Margaret Lu came away with a 10-point margin win to take the award with 49% of the vote from the US Women’s Volleyball team and the Mixed Triathlon Relay team.
The Team USA Awards are given out each month in recognition of outstanding performance in the field of sport. Each National Governing Body nominates one female, one male and one team per discipline. An internal committee selects five nominees from both individual categories and three teams. Votes are received from the NGB representatives and select members of the media to account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other 50 percent determined by online voting by members of the public.
International fencing community celebrates World Fencing Day
Saturday September 8th was the International Fencing Federation’s 2nd annual World Fencing Day, with many of the sports top stars expressing their love for fencing online.
Only established in 2017, World Fencing Day is intended as an opportunity to grow the sport by sharing its physical and mental health benefits with children, communities and schools.
All over the world on Saturday fencing clubs opened their doors and encouraged anyone and everyone to enjoy a first, free lesson on one of the oldest and most exciting sports in the world. With the hash tag #SportForAll as this years theme, the FIE encouraged all of its 153 member countries to get behind the movement and increase the level of access to fencing for young people worldwide.
Aside from encouraging public displays of fencing, the FIE posted a number of videos to its instagram account @fencing_fie showcasing some of the sports established stars as well as its up-and-comers.

View this post on Instagram

On September 8th is the World #FencingDay. How are you going to celebrate? #sportforall
A post shared by int_fencing_federation (@fencing_fie) on Aug 18, 2018 at 8:52am PDT

View this post on Instagram

Happy World #FencingDay #SportForAll #fencing @aryerri
A post shared by int_fencing_federation (@fencing_fie) on Sep 8, 2018 at 5:55am PDT

View this post on Instagram

Happy month of September on the 8th we celebrate – World Fencing Day – #SportForAll #FencingDay How to take part: http://fie.org/media/news/745
A post shared by int_fencing_federation (@fencing_fie) on Sep 1, 2018 at 6:19am PDT

International Fencing Day, Team USA Awards Recap


Team USA end World Championships in China as most successful US Fencing team ever

The US fencing team has ended its’ world championship campaign in China with two gold, two silver and two bronze, making it the most successful US fencing team at a senior world championships in the history of the event.
By winning silver in the men’s team foil on the final day of competition on Friday, this years U.S fencing team surpassed it’s previous best result at a world championship achieved in 2015, when it won five medals – four individual and one team – by winning six medals in total.
Setting this year’s effort apart from that result is the fact that this time, of the six medals won, two are gold. Both came in women’s team’s events – the foil and epee – and both for the first time by the United States at this level.
The tally also marks a huge improvement on last years championships in Leipzig, Germany where the team won two medals – both silver – one by the exact same men’s foil team, who were unable to improve on their result against the same Italian opposition this year despite winning every other team event this season. And the other by the exact same women’s foil team, who went one better than their performance in China – also against Italy – taking gold in the event for the first time ever.
Despite their defeat at the hands of Italy, Race Imboden, who came into these championships ranked the number one foil fencer in the world, summed up the mood on his Instagram account under a picture of himself and his teammates: ‘SILVER at World Championships. We used to be underdogs. No longer. Hell of a season with these boys, Hell of a journey to get here.’

SILVER at World Championships. We used to be underdogs. No Longer. Hell of a season with these boys, Hell of a journey to get here.
A post shared by Race Imboden (@race_imboden) on Jul 28, 2018 at 6:05am PDT

At an individual level, Eli Dershwitz won silver in the sabre – his first senior world championship medal – to continue his rise from 2015 junior world champion and 19th on Olympic debut in Rio, to his current status as the world number one.

SILVER MEDAL AT THE 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN WUXI, CHINA AND OFFICIALLY THE #1 RANKED MEN'S SABER FENCER IN THE WORLD. A huge thank you to my family, friends, coach, and everyone else who helped me reach this point, and congratulations to the other medalists! :@augusto280766 #Wuxi2018 #WorldChamps #USFencing #TeamUSA #Tokyo2020 #GoingForGold
A post shared by Eli Dershwitz (@eli.dershwitz) on Jul 22, 2018 at 12:19pm PDT

Courtney Hurley, who has competed at ten world championships and two Olympics without threatening the dais, won her first individual world championship medal, a bronze in the épée, which was also a first senior individual world medal for any U.S. epee fencer. She then backed it up in the team event by taking gold against the Koreans, and making her the most successful American fencer of the championships.

I hardly have the words to express how I feel! Yesterday I made history with winning the first medal for US women’s epee at the World Championships. Achieving this alone was amazing but more importantly, to myself, how I accomplished this was a greater story. This season was the hardest season for me. Fencing is a complicated sport and almost entirely my problem this year was mental. This year made me seriously question retiring from the sport of fencing. All this hardship, sadness and frustration went completely out the window when I fenced yesterday. I was happy, calm and I never became emotional (even when I was down 13-8). This accomplishment in itself was amazing. I also want to thank my sister @thishurleygurrl for always being there to support me even in my crazy moments. I would not be here without her support and of my parents constant support. I’m just so happy!! Tomorrow is team event and I’m even more excited to get back on that podium because I believe my team can do it!
A post shared by Courtney Hurley (@thathurleygurrl) on Jul 23, 2018 at 5:15am PDT

Pulling off a surprise was sabre fencer Anne-Elizabeth Stone, who an individual bronze. Stone had come to these championships ranked only fourth in the U.S and having not made it past the round of 16 in three previous world championship appearances. After being overlooked for the Rio Olympics, her world ranking has risen to number 12.

Eliza Stone … 2018 Senior World Bronze Medalist! #bizziteam
A post shared by USA Fencing (@usfencing) on Jul 24, 2018 at 3:58am PDT

Overall, it was Italy who again showed their dominance of world fencing, leading the medal tally with 4 gold, 2 silvers and 1 bronze. Their 4 gold’s included both the men’s and women’s individual foil, making first time world champion Alessio Foconi arguably the fencer of the meet after the Italian also lead his team to the men’s team event. South Korea had their own claim on that title, however, with 7 medals overall, including gold in both the men’s individual and team sabre, lead by individual champion Kim Junghwan.
France claimed two gold, including one on the last day when they won the women’s tem sabre, while Russia would be disappointed in their results, winning only one gold, one silver and four bronze as their Olympic and world champion foilist, Inna Deriglazova went missing, failing to even medal after dominating the event for so long. That said, such is their depth that they still enjoyed a clean sweep of the women’s sabre, going 1-2-3 in that event on day 6.
Full Medal Tally

Rank
Nation
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Total

1
Italy
4
2
1
7

2
South Korea
2
2
3
7

3
United States
2
2
2
6

4
France
2
1
1
4

5
Russia
1
2
4
7

6
Switzerland
1
0
1
2

7
Great Britain
0
1
0
1

7
Romania
0
1
0
1

7
Venezuela
0
1
0
1

10
Ukraine
0
0
2
2

11
China
0
0
1
1

11
Hungary
0
0
1
1

11
Spain
0
0
1
1

11
Tunisia
0
0
1
1

Team USA end World Championships in China as most successful US Fencing team ever


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USA takes Women’s Team Epee, Korea wins Men’s Team Sabre at World Championships in China

USA and Korea have taken the first of six team gold medals to be handed out at the ongoing world fencing championships in Wuxi, China.
Coming from behind in every one of their matches from the quarterfinal stage on, including overtime wins in the final and quarterfinal against defending champions Estonia, the American team of Katherine Holmes, Courtney Hurley, Kelley Hurley and Amanda Sirico showed incredible determination to create history, becoming the first US epee team to win a world championship gold.
Anchored by 2016 Olympian Holmes, who seems to save her best for the team events, in the gold medal match against a strong Korea, the US trailed all the way until the final bout, when it was Holmes herself who went searching for the win. Tying the score at 17 each with just 11 seconds left in the final period, she then managed to get the hit she needed 30 seconds into overtime against world number 7 Injeong Choi, and secure a dramatic 18-17 victory for the Americans.
“Going into the final bout, there’s a high ceiling,” Holmes told FIE’s Fencing Channel afterward. “As long as it’s relatively close, I have my plan and I’m going to try to force the other person to fence my plan. Today everybody was fencing my plan,” she said.
Teammate Courtney Hurley paid tribute to Holmes nerves of steel throughout the tournament. “She doesn’t get nervous!” she said, “and that’s why she’s really good at her job. We thought we could just keep it close until the end because Kat’s been doing so amazing at the end and that’s exactly what we did.”

We are the Champions my friends … Team USA won the first ever team title for a U.S. women’s épée squad! #bizziteam
A post shared by USA Fencing (@usfencing) on Jul 25, 2018 at 6:29am PDT

China picked up their first medal of the championships by defeating Russia in the bronze medal playoff 45-42.
In the men’s team sabre, Korea had too much class in a team containing three of the world’s top five, including the individual gold and bronze winners at these world championships Junghwan Kim – who was incredibly used as a reserve in the final against Italy – and Junho Kim. Rounding out what must be one of the best sabre fencing teams ever were six-time Asian champion Bongil Gu and 21-year-old Sanguk Oh, who already has four senior international World Cup and Grand Prix victories to his name.
And it was Oh who overturned an early deficit in the final, dominating Luigi Barre 8-1 in the second bout after Italy’s Luca Curatoli had briefly put his team in front 5-2. After that they were never headed, with Oh also defeating Barre 5-0 to establish what turn into a match-winning lead, blowing out to 26-40 by the time Junghwan Kim had also out touched Barre in the penultimate bout, 5-2. It all meant that despite Luca Curatoli’s 13-5 victory over Oh in the final bout, Korea still ran out winners 45-35 and defend the title they won in 2017. Hungary defeated Georgia for the bronze medal 45-36.

from the final of men’s team sabre #Wuxi2018
A post shared by int_fencing_federation (@fencing_fie) on Jul 25, 2018 at 6:39am PDT

Full Results
Women’s Team Epee
1. USA
2. Korea
3. China
4. Russia
5. France
6. Estonia
7. Poland
8. Germany
Men’s Team Sabre
1. Korea
2. Italy
3. Hungary
4. Georgia
5. Germany
6. Iran
7. Russia
8. France
USA takes Women’s Team Epee, Korea wins Men’s Team Sabre at World Championships in China


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Volpi claims more gold for Italy, Borel wins for France at World Championships

Italy’s Alice Volpi has followed up her teammate Mara Navarria’s heroics in the epee on day 4 by winning gold in the women’s foil on day 5 at the ongoing World Championships in Wuxi, China. On the same day, triple European champion Yannick Borel won his first World Championship gold for France in the men’s epee.
In the women’s foil, Volpi came up against a giant-killing Ysaora Thibus in the final, eventually overcoming the Frenchwoman 15-12, but not before Thibus had created one of the upsets of the tournament by defeating Russia’s hot favorite and defending champion Inna Deriglazova, 15-14 in their table of 8 clash. This was after the Russian had stormed through her early rounds, including a 15-7 victory in the table of 16 against Team USA’s Nicole Ross to set up one of the bouts of the championships so far.
Volpi, a runner-up to Deriglazova at last years World Championships in Germany, came through the same half of the draw as world number three Lee Kiefer from the USA, whose disappointing run at senior World Championships continued. The diminutive nine-time Pan American champion is yet to improve on the bronze she won as a 17-year-old in Italy in 2011, losing out to Tunisia’s world number 4, Ines Boubakri, 15-13 in their quarterfinal. Boubraki then lost out to Volpi 15-7 in the first of two lopsided semifinals, Thibus preventing an all-Italian final by easily accounting for veteran Arianna Errigo 15-2 in theirs.

Dietro una grande squadra c’è sempre un grande capitano,GRAZIE CIPPO Campionessa del mondo Wuxi2018
A post shared by Alice Volpi (@alice_volpi_) on Jul 23, 2018 at 8:58am PDT

In the men’s epee, world number one Yannick Borel, who came to these championships fresh from winning his third consecutive European title in Serbia, overcame 2012 London Olympic champion, Venezuela’s Ruben Limardo Gascon, 15-4 in their final. Gascon had pulled a couple of surprises on his way to the gold medal match, defeating the world number three and two in consecutive bouts, Korea’s Sangyoung Park in the table of 8 (13-10), followed by Ukrainian ever-present Bogdan Nikishin (7-4) in the first semi-final.
In the final, Borel’s dynamic style was too good, and victory was never in doubt for the Frenchman, claiming it 15-4 well inside the time limit. To reach the gold medal play-off, Borel defeated another Ukrainian, Roman Svichkar, 15-11 in the second semi-final and before that Kazakhstan’s eighth-ranked Dmitry Alexanin, 15-5 in the table of 8. USA 22-year-old Curtis McDowald achieved his best world championships result following his bronze at the Pan American championships in Cuba in June, finishing 8th place.

C H A M P I O N D U M O N D E
A post shared by Yannick BOREL (@yannickborelofficiel) on Jul 23, 2018 at 8:13am PDT

Full results
Men’s Individual Epee
1. Yannick Borel (FRA)
2. Ruben Limardo(VEN)
3. Bogdan Nikishin (UKR)
3. Roman Svichkar (UKR)
5. Sangyoung Park (KOR)
6. Dmitriy Alexanin (KAZ)
7. Benjamin Steffen (SUI)
8. Curtis McDowald (USA)
Women’s Individual Foil
1. Alice Volpi (ITA)
2. Ysaora Thibus (FRA)
3. Ines Boubakri (TUN)
3. Arianna Errigo (ITA)
5. Inna Deriglazova (RUS)
6. Lee Kiefer (USA)
7. Camilla Mancini (ITA)
8. Nzingha Prescod (USA)
Volpi claims more gold for Italy, Borel wins for France at World Championships


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