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Team USA Wins Double Silver in Foil

04/10/2021, 9:15am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

The junior women's foil team celebrating with cadre in Cairo. Photo Credit: #bizziteam


Junior men's foil silver medalists Daniel Zhang, Marcello Olivares, Ashton Daniel and Kenji Bravo. Photo Credit: #bizziteam.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Foil Teams earned silver medals at the Junior World Championships in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday.

The wins brought Team USA’s medal count for the week to 10, including six medals in foil and four in saber during the first six days of competition.

2021 Junior and Cadet World Championships Complete Results

For the U.S. women, the silver medal was the ninth team podium finish in the last 10 editions of the tournament for Team USA. The U.S. men earned their 10th team medal out of the last 13 Junior Worlds.

The U.S. Women’s Foil Team entered the event as the No. 2 seed with a squad that included the last two individual Junior World Champions with May Tieu (Belle Mead, N.J. / Premier Fencing Club / Princeton) who earned this year’s title on Tuesday and Lauren Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y. / Peter Westbrook Foundation) who won both the junior and cadet titles in 2019. Former Cadet World Team members Zander Rhodes (South Orange, N.J. / V Fencing Club) and Maia Weintraub (Philadelphia, Pa. / Fencers Club) each made debuts in the junior event in Cairo.

With Scruggs as anchor, Team USA opened the day with a dominant win over Spain, taking the table of 16, 45-24, including three shutout bouts across the match and a +10 indicator by Rhodes.

In the quarter-finals, the Americans met Canada – a squad led by Jessica Guo who was fresh off gold in the cadet competition and bronze in the individual junior event. As expected, Guo scored most of Canada’s points in the match, picking up 22 of the team’s 33 total points. Weintaub led Team USA in scoring with a +13 indicator and the only two touches she gave up across three bouts coming to Guo. Tieu anchored the squad to a 45-33 victory that included wins in seven of the nine bouts.

With a medal on the line, Team USA held off a comeback by Romania in the final rotation of the semifinals. Rhodes entered as anchor to hold on to a 45-41 victory. The U.S. squad won or tied six of the nine bouts to advance to the gold medal final.

Fencing Russia for gold, Team USA built a 30-24 lead after the first six bouts, but Russia came back to tie the score at 37 after the eighth bout. With the score tied again at 40, VItalina Anaschenkova scored two to take the lead for Russia before Scruggs replied with a three-touch run. Anaschenkova, a top-eight finisher in the individual event, was not done yet, however, and went on to finish clinch a 45-43 win for Russia.

Three of the four members of the U.S. Men’s Foil Team came into the event as individual Cadet World medalists looking for a team podium finish as well. Daniel Zhang (Belmont, Mass. / Star Fencing Academy) earned this year’s Cadet World title on Wednesday while Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif. / Harvard) and Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla. / Notre Dame) won gold and silver medals at the 2018 Cadet Worlds, respectively. Ashton Daniel (Cupertino, Calif. / Silicon Valley Fencing Center / Columbia) earned a position on the Junior World Team for the first time in 2020 prior to the event being cancelled due to COVID-19.

In the table of 16, the top-seeded Americans won all nine bouts against Qatar with Olivares anchoring the 45-10 victory. All four fencers competed in the opening match with Daniel and Olivares earning +13 and +12 indicators, respectively.

Korea kept the quarter-final close at the start, staying within two touches for most of the first three bouts as Team USA ended the first rotation with a 12-11 lead. Olivares changed the momentum, however, outscoring Suhwan Lee, 8-3, to end the fourth at 20-14. By the end of the second rotation, Team USA led by nine at 30-21. Zhang came into the match in the seventh and helped Team USA end the match with three straight wins for a 45-31 victory with Olivares as setup. Bravo, who earned a +11 indicator on the match, anchored the win.

Fencing Poland in the semis, Team USA led by three at 25-23 after a pair of split bouts at 5-5 each in the fourth and fifth bouts. Bravo took a 5-2 win over Adam Jakubowski in the sixth and the Americans went on to win the next three bouts at 5-4 (Daniel), 5-0 (Olivares) and 5-2 (Bravo) to advance to the finals with a 45-31 victory.

In the gold medal final, however, Russia built an early lead and didn’t give it up, controlling the match for a 45-35 win.

Top eight results are as follows:

Men’s Team Foil Junior World Championships
1. Russia
2. USA
3. France
4. Poland
5. Korea
6. Chile
7. Mexico
8. Ukraine

Women’s Team Foil Junior World Championships
1. Russia
2. USA
3. Ukraine
4. Romania
5. Korea
6. Canada
7. France
8. Poland

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