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Saber Fencers Take Seven Podium Finishes in Sofia

11/21/2019, 7:45pm CST
By Kristen Henneman

Team USA's men's individual top eight finishers (L-R): Colby Harley (bronze), Ryan Lim (fifth), Nolan Williams (eighth), Kirk Chayevsky (silver) and Oleksandr Kushkov (bronze). Photo Credit: Terrence Lasker.

Women's individual gold medalist Zoe Kim. Photo Credit: Zack Brown.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA’s red, white and blue was plentiful on the podium at the Sofia Cadet European Cup as the United States won seven medals across the four events.

Tallying five individual medals and two team medals, Zoe Kim (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Nithya Guthikonda (Peachtree City, Ga.) earned gold and bronze in the women’s individual event while both U.S. teams medaled in the women’s team event with gold and bronze.

In the individual men’s competition, Team USA nearly swept the podium with Kirk Chayevsky (Atlanta, Ga.) claiming silver and Colby Harley (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Oleksandr Kushkov (West Newton, Mass.) securing bronze.

2019 Sofia Cadet European Cup Results

With her first international medal, Kim was perfect on the day, going 6-0 in pools and 7-0 in the direct elimination rounds.

Kim earned a bye to the table of 128 as the No. 3 seed out of pools and the 2018 Y14 National Champion picked up two quick 15-4 victories over 2019 Cadet World Team member Kristina Milanova (BUL) and Veda Anna Wladimir (HUN).

Kim advanced to the table of 16 with a 15-6 win over teammate Chelsea Delsoin (Jersey City, N.J.), making nine members of Team USA in the table of 16.

Kim overcame three more teammates to reach the final, overcoming Alexandra Lee (San Francisco, Calif.), 15-9; Siobhan Sullivan (Tigard, Ore.), 15-8; and Guthikonda, 15-4.

Fencing for gold, Kim continued her dominance, besting Alina Koroleva (RUS), 15-10.

With the top step of the podium, Kim currently ranks No. 3 in the European Cadet Fencing Rankings and No. 2 in the newly released USA Fencing Cadet Women’s Saber Team Point Standings.

Also winning her first individual international medal with bronze, Guthikonda went 5-1 in pools before cruising past Alexandra Mitrus (ROU), 15-9, and Maya Kerkeser (TUR), 15-7.

After a 15-12 victory over three-time Cadet World Team member Ilinca Pantis (ROU), 15-12, and a 15-9 win against Maria Kuznetsova (RUS), Guthikonda clinched a medal with a 15-12 effort over Konstantina Kefala (GRE).

Guthikonda also won team gold as part of USA 1 and was joined by Chiara Diperna (Sacramento, Calif.), Stephanie Cao (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Chloe Williams (Atlanta, Ga.)

The United States started the day with a dominant 45-15 victory over Slovenia / Austria before reaching the medal rounds with two wins over squads from Turkey’s No. 4 and No. 2 teams at 45-30 and 45-31, respectively.

The semifinals set up a match-up with USA 2, which was represented by Sullivan, Delsoin, Madison Four-Garcia (North Bergen, N.J.) and Erica Wu (Marietta, Ga.)

USA 2 also blazed past its table of 32 opponent, besting Greece 4, 45-10. In the following two rounds, the Americans edged out Russia 3, 45-38, and Hungary 1, 45-43.

The semifinal bout between the two U.S. teams was close with USA 1 taking the victory, 45-43, and going on to win gold over Ukraine, 45-36.

USA 2 also ended on a high note, rebounding from the semifinal loss to win bronze over control the bronze medal match against Turkey 1, 45-23.

In the men’s individual competition, Team USA nearly swept the podium and had seven fencers in the top 16.

Currently No. 4 in the Cadet European Fencing Rankings, Chayevsky’s silver marked his first individual international medal.

En route to the silver, Chayevsky came up with several clutch performances, including three 15-14 victories.

After starting the direct elimination rounds with a 15-11 victory over Darii Lukashenko (UKR), Chayevsky outtouched teammate Cody Ji (Atlanta, Ga.) as well as 2019 Cadet World Team member Marco Sovar (ROU), 15-14.

In the table of 16, Chayevsky edged out Georgiy Gvadzabia (RUS), 15-13, before giving up just four points to Murat Sarp Asik (TUR), 15-4, to guarantee a medal.

The semifinals saw Chayevsky earn his third 15-14 victory of the day as he overcame Harley, but he came up short in the final with a 15-9 loss to Todor Stoychev (BUL).

Harley, who won bronze at his first Cadet European Cup in Godollo earlier this season, won his second international medal with bronze.

The 2019 July Challenge Champion in the cadet event, Harley cruised through his first two bouts, posting a 15-5 victory over Oleksandr Hryhoruk (UKR) and a 15-6 win against Ethan Hilton (GBR).

With a 15-11 victory over Muhammed Furkan Kalender (TUR), Harley reached the table of 16, where he outtouched teammate Jaden Callahan (Carlsbad, Calif.), 15-14.

A 15-8 victory over teammate Nolan Williams (Watchung, N.J.) earned Harley his second Cadet European Cup medal before falling to Kirk by a one-touch margin at 15-14.

On the other side of the bracket, Kushkov also claimed his second career Cadet European Cup medal after taking bronze in Bucharest last season.

Kushov reached the table of 16 by defeating Yasen Stoyanov (BUL), 15-7; Louis Bedford (GBR), 15-10; and Phu Xien Chan (SGP), 15-12.

He then easily won his next two bouts, cruising past Nikita Kisin (RUS), 15-9, and Radu Nitu (ROU), 15-6, to secure a medal and put three members of Team USA on the podium.

Although Kushkov fell to Stoychev, 15-3, in the semis, he currently ranks No. 5 in the European Cadet Fencing Rankings.

In the first set of USA Fencing Men’s Saber Cadet Team Point Standings, Harley leads at No. 1 while Kushkov and Chayevsky rank second and fourth, respectively.

In the team event, USA 1 earned the best result for the United States as Chayevsky, Harley, Nicholas Harvey (Atlanta, Ga.) and Ronald Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.) took fifth.

Team USA advanced to the quarters with a dominant 45-14 victory over Iceland and a 45-33 victory over Hungary 2.

A tough loss to Russia 3, 45-43, in the quarter-finals placed the United States in the 5th-8th place table, but the Americans finished on a high note, taking two victories.

Team USA edged out Russia 2, 45-42, before defeating Egypt, 45-27, for fifth.

Sofia Men’s Individual Saber Cadet European Cup
1. Todor Stoychev (BUL)
2. Kirk Chayevsky (Atlanta, Ga.)
3. Colby Harley (Alpharetta, Ga.)
3. Oleksandr Kushkov (West Newton, Mass.)
5. Ryan Lim (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)

6. Murat Sarp Asik (TUR)
7. Radu Nitu (ROU)
8. Nolan Williams (Watchung, N.J.)

13. Jaden Callahan (Carlsbad, Calif.)
15. Nicholas Harvey (Atlanta, Ga.)
17. Jon Lin (Stamford, Conn.)
21. Matthew Limb (Northridge, Calif.)
25. Surya Sakhamuri (Sharon, Mass.)
27. Peter Hammer (Weston, Fla.)
30. Andrew Geffell (Farmington, N.Y.)
35. Gian Dhingra (Laguna Hills, Calif.)
51. Ronald Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.)
56. Alexander Jeffords (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
60. Lysander Denner (Greenwich, Conn.)
61. Neil Lilov (Denville, N.J.)
63. Cody Ji (Atlanta, Ga.)
66. Avery Kim (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
106. Braydon Bolton (Chandler, Ariz.)

Sofia Women’s Individual Saber Cadet European Cup
1. Zoe Kim (Basking Ridge, N.J.)

2. Alina Koroleva (RUS)
3. Nithya Guthikonda (Peachtree City, Ga.)
3. Zsanett Kovacs (HUN)
5. Siobhan Sullivan (Tigard, Ore.)
6. Chiara Diperna (Sacramento, Calif.)

7. Oleksandra Bondar (UKR)
8. Konstantina Kefala (GRE)

9. Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.)
10. Madison Four-Garcia (North Bergen, N.J.)
11. Alexandra Lee (San Francisco, Calif.)
12. Stephanie Cao (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
13. Lola Possick (Weehawken, N.J.)
17. Magda Skarbonkiewicz (Portland, Ore.)
18. Erika Chin (San Francisco, Calif.)
22. Kunling Tong (Marietta, Ga.)
24. Chelsea Delsoin (Jersey City, N.J.)
27. Vivian Lu (Foster City, Calif.)
29. Charlotte He (Foster City, Calif.)
31. Janna Freedman (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
58. Chloe Williams (Atlanta, Ga.)
67. Ella Greenbaum (Atlanta,Ga.)
81. Alexandra Tzou (New York, N.Y.)
87. Erica Wu (Marietta, Ga.)

Sofia Men’s Team Saber Cadet European Cup
1. Bulgaria 1
2. Hungary 1
3. Russia 3
4. Russia 4
5. USA 1
6. Egypt
7. USA 2
8. Russia 2

9. USA 3
13. USA 4

Sofia Women’s Team Saber Cadet European Cup
1. USA 1
2. Ukraine
3. USA 2
4. Turkey 1
5. Hungary 1
6. Romania 2
7. Turkey 2
8. Russia 1


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