Ryan Griffiths with Penn State coach Alexei Sintchinov. Photo Credit: Sebastien Dos Santos.
Ryan Griffiths (far left) on the podium in Riga. Photo Credit: Sebastien Dos Santos.
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Ryan Griffiths (Fairlawn, N.J.) won his first individual medal on the Junior World Cup circuit this past Saturday in Riga, Latvia.
The 2018 Pan American Junior Team Champion went 6-0 in pools and 6-1 in the direct elimination rounds at the first Junior World Cup of the season.
With a bye into the table of 128, Griffiths bested Dmytro Mykytenko (UKR), 15-8, before edging out Andras Ujvari (HUN), 15-11, and 2019 Junior World Team member Hadrien Favre (SUI), 15-14, to make the table of 16 at a Junior World Cup for the first time in his career.
Following a 15-12 victory over Pierre Guillemin (FRA), Griffiths guaranteed a medal with a 15-13 win over 2019 Junior World Team member Tobias Weckerle (GER).
In the semifinals, Griffiths overcame Riccardo Masarin (ITA), 15-13, to earn a place in the gold medal match, but came up short to 2017 Cadet European Championship bronze medalist Giulio Gaetani (ITA), 15-8.
With the silver, Griffiths advanced to No. 2 in the USA Fencing Junior Men’s Epee Rolling Point Standings as he seeks to qualify for his first Junior World Team in 2020.
Timothy Frank (Portland, Ore.) also made a jump in the Rolling Point Standings, moving from No. 10 to No. 4 with his top-16 finish.
Frank reached the table of 64 with two 15-11 victories over Barat Guliyev (AZE) and Bohdan Kyrda (UKR).
After outtouching 2018 Cadet European Team Champion Alessandro Gabriolo (ITA), 15-14, Frank drew his teammate Justin Haddad (Bethesda, Md.) in the table of 32.
Haddad, who competed on this year’s Pan Am junior team that won gold, won his first two direct elimination bouts 15-11 over teammate Mihir Kumashi (Houston, Texas) and 15-10 against Tokuma Shukuin (JPN).
In a close bout, Frank came out on top, 15-13. However, in the table of 16, Frank fell to 2019 Cadet World Team member Egor Lomaga (RUS), 15-8. His 16th place result marks a new best finish on the Junior World Cup circuit.
Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas), a 2019 Junior World team silver medalist, and Michael Bissinger (Houston, Texas) each claimed top-64 finishes.
In the team event on Sunday, Team USA took fourth.
Griffiths was joined on the U.S. roster by Kumashi as well as 2019 Junior World team silver medalists Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.) and Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas).
As the No. 2 seed, Team USA earned a bye to the table of 16, where the men won six of the nine bouts to defeat Great Britain, 42-30.
Team USA’s margin of victory was even bigger in the quarter-finals with the United States besting the Czech Republic, 45-25. The Americans won or tied the first eight bouts, including two 5-0 sweeps from Griffiths, who was +13 on the match.
After a 45-29 loss to Italy in the semifinals, Team USA faced Germany in the bronze medal match. Down 37-25 going into the ninth, Piskovatskov won the anchor bout, 16-8, but the deficit was too much to overcome and the United States finished fourth with a 45-41 loss.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Riga Men’s Individual Épée Junior World Cup
1. Giuliio Gaetani (ITA)
2. Ryan Griffiths (Fairlawn, N.J.)
3. Riccardo Masarin (ITA)
3. Egor Lomaga (RUS)
5. Marco Balzano (RUS)
6. Enrico Piatti (ITA)
6. Tobias Weckerle (GER)
8. Jan Socha (POL)
16. Timothy Frank (Portland, Ore.)
19. Justin Haddad (Bethesda, Md.)
33. Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas)
52. Michael Bissinger (Houston, Texas)
84. Joshua Zhang (Old Brookville, N.Y.)
85. Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
107. Mihir Kumashi (Houston, Texas)
137. Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.)
150. Jonas Hansen (Cambridge, Mass.)
161. Nathan Vaysberg (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
218. Devin Tafoya (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Riga Men’s Team Épée Junior World Cup
8. Czech Republic
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