(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Athletes from 10 colleges represented Team USA in the fencing events at the World University Games in Naples, Italy from July 3-8 with foilists Sylvie Binder (Armonk, N.Y. / Columbia) and Philip Shin (New York City, N.Y.) placing 10th in the women’s and men’s events, respectively.
Nearly all of the 22 U.S. fencers were first-time competitors at the World University Games where the women’s foil squad also earned a top-eight finish in the team competition.
Team USA’s women’s foil squad featured a strong trio of fencers from Columbia, including 2018 Junior World Team Champion Sylvie Binder (Armonk, N.Y.), 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist Natalie Minarik (Glen Oaks, N.Y.) and incoming freshman Rachel Zhang (Winchester, Mass.) Binder posted Team USA’s best result across all weapons on the women’s side with a 10th place result. The reigning NCAA Champion posted a 5-1 pool result and defeated Rozene Castanie (FRA), 15-9, after a bye into the 32. Binder’s run was halted in the 16, however, with a 15-6 loss to Hyeji Kim (KOR). Minarik finished 4-2 in pools, but lost her bout in the 32 to Marina Sinigalia (ITA), 15-6. Zhang ended the pool rounds at 2-4 and lost her opening direct elimination bout to Aleksandra Jeglinska (POL), 15-14.
Binder anchored the squad to Team USA’s best result in the team events in Naples, placing eighth. The Americans won or tied six of the first eight bouts against Hungary in the 16 to build a 40-35 lead with Binder closing against Anna Poltz to end the match at 45-38. Although Binder picked up a key win over 2017 Senior World Team Champion at 8-5 in the quarter-finals against Italy, the Italians dominated the match for a 45-21 victory before going on to win gold.
NYU’s Philip Shin (New York City, N.Y.) earned the best result for the U.S. men, placing 10th in the individual event at his second World University Games. Shin went undefeated in pools and nearly shut out Rui Artur Costa (POR), 15-2, after a bye into the 32. He dropped his next bout, however, 15-5, to Yuto Ueno (JPN) who went on to win bronze. Nestor Levin (USAF Academy, Colo. / Air Force) made an impressive showing at his first international tournament, finishing pools at 5-1, but lost to Stef De Greef (BEL), 15-7, in the 32. Shane Iverson (Basking Ridge, N.J. / Penn State) went 3-3 in pools before a loss in the 64 to Olivier De Jong (NED), 15-11.
Fencing Belgium in the team event, the Americans held the lead at 35-34 in the table of 16 before Belgium came back in the final two bouts to take the win at 45-39.
Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif. / Columbia), a member of the 2019 Junior World Team, earned a top-32 finish in Naples. Nixon went 4-2 in pools and controlled her 64 bout against Shantal Zhansugurova (KAZ) for a 15-9 win before being edged by Aliya Luty (FRA), 15-14.
Maria Papadopoulos (Ashburn, Va. / Duke) also competed, but finished the pools at 1-4 and was eliminated.
Due to only having two women’s epee fencers, the United States did not have an entry in the team event.
Samuel Koch (San Francisco, Calif. / Brown) earned a top-32 result in the men’s individual epee competition, following a 3-3 pool finish with a 15-11 win over Frederik Weber (SUI) in the table of 64. In the 32, Koch fell to Martin Rubes (CZE) who went on to win gold.
Former Junior World Team members Anton Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas / Penn State) and Wesley Johnson (Pleasant View, Utah / Princeton) were eliminated in the table of 64.
Piskovatskov went 4-2 in pools, but lost to Ruslan Eskov (EST), a top-eight finisher at the 2015 Cadet Worlds, by a 15-10 margin.
Johnson finished 3-3 in pools before a 15-11 loss to Jawad Aldawood (KSA).
In the team competition, the United States edged India, 45-43, in the table of 32, but finished xxth after a 45-26 loss to Korea – the eventual gold medalists.
Elizabeth Tartakovsky (Livingston, N.J. / Harvard) overcame a challenging pool round to earn a top-32 result. The 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist went 2-4 in pools to advance to the table of 64 where she defeated Jessica Shu Hui Ong (SGP), 15-8. In the 32, she lost to Palina Kaspiarovich (BLR), 15-9. Gillian Harrill (Chandler, Ariz. / Cornell) made the cut out of pools at 2-4, but dropped her first DE to Alexandra Klimova (RUS), 15-8.
Due to only having two women’s saber fencers, the United States did not have an entry in the team event.
Fencing in his first senior international event, Ben Stone (New York City, N.Y. / Duke) claimed a top-32 finish. Stone went 3-3 in pools, but put up a 15-9 win over Nurzhan Karim (KAZ) in the 64. Stone was outdone in the 32, however, by 2019 European Junior Champion Matteo Neri (ITA) who won the bout, 15-2, and went on to earn bronze. Andrew Doddo (South Orange, N.J. / Columbia), a 2018 Junior World team bronze medalist, made his World University Games debut, but ended the day in the 64 after a 15-9 loss to Norihiro Shimizu (JPN) and a 3-3 pool finish. Spencer Kuldell (Newton, Mass. / Boston College) was eliminated at 0-6 in the pools.
Team USA finished 13th in the team competition, falling to eventual bronze medalist France after a bye into the 16. The Americans struggled throughout the match, dropping the first seven bouts before Stone defeated Sebastien Patrice, 6-5, in the eighth. Doddo scored nine against Maxime Pianfetti in the ninth, but France closed with a 45-27 victory.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Men’s Individual Epee
1. Martin Rubes (CZE)
2. Dmitriy Gusev (RUS)
3. Hyomin Jang (KOR)
3. Wojciech Kolanczyk (POL)
5. Dmitriy Adaikin (KAZ)
6. Volodymyr Stankevych (UKR)
7. Federico Vismara (ITA)
8. Valerio Cuomo (ITA)
29. Samuel Koch (San Francisco, Calif. / Brown)
35. Anton Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas / Penn State)
48. Wesley Johnson (Pleasant View, Utah / Princeton)
Men’s Team Epee
7. Czech Republic
Women’s Individual Epee
1. Alexandra Louis Marie (FRA)
2. Evgeniya Zharkova (RUS)
3. Roberta Marzani (ITA)
3. Nickol Tal (ISR)
5. Nuo Xu (CHN)
6. Anna Mroszczak (POL)
7. Vlada Kharkova (UKR)
8. Aurore Favre (SUI)
25. Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif. / Columbia)
64. Maria Papadopoulos (Ashburn, Va. / Duke)
Women’s Team Epee
Women’s Individual Foil
1. Erica Cipressa (ITA)
2. Morgane Patru (FRA)
3. Malina Calugareanu (ROU)
3. Camilla Mancini (ITA)
5. Oksana Martines Hauregi (RUS)
6. Hyeji Kim (KOR)
7. Martina Sinigalia (ITA)
8. Yu Gong (CHN)
10. Sylvie Binder (Armonk, N.Y. / Columbia)
23. Natalie Minarik (Glen Oaks, N.Y. / Columbia)
37. Rachel Zhang (Winchest, Mass. / Columbia)
Women’s Team Foil
Men’s Individual Foil
1. Damiano Rosatelli (ITA)
2. Guillaume Bianchi (ITA)
3. Meddy Elice (FRA)
3. Yuto Ueno (JPN)
5. Chih Chieh Chen (TPE)
6. Yoshiki Abe (JPN)
7. Wallerand Roger (FRA)
8. Francesco Ingargiola (ITA)
10. Philip Shin (New York City, N.Y. / NYU)
18. Nestor Levin (USAF Academy, Colo. / Air Force)
39. Shane Iverson (Basking Ridge, N.J. / Penn State)
Men’s Team Foil
Women’s Individual Saber
1. Sara Balzer (FRA)
2. Lucia Lucarini (ITA)
3. Michela Battiston (ITA)
3. Suin Jeon (KOR)
5. Karolina Cieslar (POL)
6. Anna Bashta (AZE)
7. Jeongmi Kim (KOR)
8. Palina Kaspiarovich (BLR)
32. Elizabeth Tartakovsky (Livingston, N.J. / Harvard)
44. Gillian Harrill (Chandler, Ariz. / Cornell)
Men’s Individual Saber
1. Sanguk Oh (KOR)
2. Frederic Kindler (GER)
3. Matteo Neri (ITA)
3. Razvan Ursachi (ROU)
5. Mikheil Mardaleishvili (GEO)
6. Raoul Bonah (GER)
7. Sebastien Patrice (FRA)
8. Maxime Pianfetti (FRA)
29. Ben Stone (New York City, N.Y. / Duke)
39. Andrew Doddo (South Orange, N.J. / Columbia)
64. Spencer Kuldell (Newton, Mass. / Boston College)
Men’s Team Saber
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