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U.S. Sets New Team Record with 22 Vet World Medals

10/17/2019, 6:15am CDT
By Kristen Henneman

Team USA won its third straight men's epee title at the Veteran World Championships in Cairo. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

The U.S. Women's Epee Team after its bronze medal win in Cairo. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Men’s Épée Team was crowned the World Champions for the third consecutive year while the Women’s Épée Team secured bronze for its third consecutive podium finish, capping off a historic Veteran World Championships for Team USA.

The U.S. delegation finishes the competition with 22 medals, the highest Vet World medal total in Team USA’s history. The United States’ previous record was 20 set in 2016.

Team USA also became the only country in the history of the Veteran World Championships to medal in all six team events at a single Worlds.

The 22 medals and six golds tops the medal count. Italy finished in second with 15 while Germany tallied 13.

2019 Veteran World Championships Results

The men’s épée team included the +70 silver medalist in Bruno Goossens (Jacksonville, Ore.), who, along with 50-59 fencer Jon Normile (Millburn, N.J.), has now fenced on all three gold medal-winning teams.

Two-time individual Vet World Champion Walter Dragonetti (Las Vegas, Nev.) and 2016 bronze medalist Daryl Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif.) – both members of last year’s championship team – represented the United States in the 60-69 age category.

Three-time Vet World Team member Rick Watrall (Mahwah, N.J.) and two-time team member Jeffrey Spahn (Clinton Corners, N.Y.) completed the six-member team.

After going 2-1 in pools, Team USA did not drop a bout in either of its first two matches, defeating the Netherlands, 30-17, and Germany, 30-23, to reach the medal rounds.

In the semifinals, the United States faced a 4-3 deficit to Sweden after the first bout, but won the final five for a 30-20 victory and a chance to defend its title.

Fencing France for gold, Team USA held a narrow 7-6 lead after three bouts. Normile won the fourth, 10-6, and Goossens took the sixth, 8-1, to break the bout open and the United States won its third straight gold by a dominant 30-15 margin.

The U.S. Women’s Épée Team was led by teams Liz Kocab (Farmington Hills, Mich.) – a six-time World Champion who earned her latest title earlier in the week. Two-time Vet World team medalist Christina Gordet (Coral Gables, Fla.) also competed from the 60-69 age category while first-time Vet World Team member Ann Totemeier (Boulder, Colo.) and 2018 team silver medalist Sharrie Zafft (Worthington, Mass.) represented Team USA in 50-59.

The 70+ fencers for the United States were reigning individual bronze medalist Diane Kallus (Round Rock, Texas) and Bonnie Aher (Shoreline, Wis.), who both won silver with Team USA last year.

Team USA went 1-1 in pools and earned a bye to the quarter-finals, where the United States bested Finland, 30-17. Tied at 10 halfway through the match, the Americans won the final three bouts, including a 10-3 victory in the fourth from Kocab.

Despite losing to Germany, 30-26, in the semifinals, Team USA came up with a clutch victory over France in the bronze medal match for a spot on the podium.

Tied at seven after two rounds, Team USA won the next two to take a 20-15 lead. However, France made its comeback and won the fifth, 7-3, to cut the lead to one. Kocab anchored the bronze medal finish, holding off four-time individual Vet World medalist and 2016 Team Champion Annick Martin (FRA) for a 25-24 victory and a third straight podium finish for Team USA.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Veteran World Championships Team Men’s Épée
1. USA

2. France
3. Italy
4. Sweden
5. Germany
6. Australia
7. Great Britain
8. Japan

Veteran World Championships Team Women’s Épée
1. Italy
2. Germany
3. USA
4. France
5. Sweden
6. Australia
7. Finland
8. Great Britain

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