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2022 Junior & Cadet Worlds Saber Recap: Two Golds, Two Silvers and Two Bronzes for Team USA

04/05/2022, 9:45am CDT
By Serge Timacheff

Team USA took home six medals in saber — two of each color — across the first three days of competition at the Junior 2022 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Two Team USA athletes wearing medals smile.

Team USA's Magda Skarbonkiewicz (left) and Honor Johnson took home gold and silver in junior women's saber. Photo by #BizziTeam

(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) — Team USA took home six medals in saber — two of each color — across the first three days of competition at the 2022 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

With gold medals in both junior women’s saber and cadet women’s saber, Magda Skarbonkiewicz (Oregon Fencing Alliance) becomes the first athlete — man or woman — to become world champion in both junior saber and cadet saber at the same tournament since Rebecca Ward of Team USA did so in 2006. (Team USA’s Mariel Zagunis also accomplished the feat in 2001.)

“It takes a bit to process,” Skarbonkiewicz said. “It was a lot of ups and downs. Sometimes I’d be fencing perfectly, and other times I’d be like, ‘Oh, what am I doing?’ I was able to overcome that.”

The tournament started in spectacular fashion when, on the first evening of competition, two USA fencers made the finals in junior women’s saber: Skarbonkiewicz faced Honor Johnson (Bergen Fencing Club), guaranteeing gold and silver for USA to kick off nine days and 18 events in Dubai. The first three days of the championships included all of the saber events, beginning with individual juniors on the first day, cadets on the second and junior team on the third.

Skarbonkiewicz took the gold in the final match, 15-9, but her status as world champion would soon be repeated. The next morning, she was back on the strip on her way to a second gold medal in as many days. In cadet women’s saber, Skarbonkiewicz breezed her way to the finals for another all-USA gold medal match. This time she faced teammate Siobhan Sullivan (Oregon Fencing Alliance), winning 15-9. The teammates secured gold and silver for the USA. 

In cadet men’s saber, two Team USA fencers were on the podium again as Cody Walter Ji (Nellya Fencers) and William Morrill (Fencers Club) won their way into the semifinals. Eventual gold medalist Zuhriddin Kodirov of Uzbekistan won against Ji to make the finals, 15-10, while German Colin Heathcock beat Morrill, 15-7. Kudos also go to a great performance by Connor Liang (Laguna Fencing Center), who lost to Ji in the quarterfinals, 15-11, and finished in fifth place overall.

In team competition, the USA women took fifth place out of a field of 27 international teams. The women outscored Germany 46-26 in the round of 16 before losing to Hungary in the quarterfinals, 45-40. The Team USA men's team finished 17th.

Team USA Saber Results

Junior Women's Saber

Magda Skarbonkiewicz: Gold Medal and World Champion
Honor Johnson: Silver Medal
Tatiana Nazlymov (Nazlymov Fencing Foundation): 14th
Siobhan Sullivan: 15th

Junior Men's Saber

Sean Moon (Zeta Fencing/Univeristy of Notre Dame): 18th
Colby Alexander Harley (Nellya Fencers): 26th
William Morrill: 37th
Ronald Anglade Jr. (Nellya Fencers/Princeton University): 51st

Cadet Women's Saber

Magda Skarbonkiewicz: Gold Medal and World Champion
Siobhan Sullivan: Silver Medal
Lola Possick (Advanced Fencing & Fitness Academy): 39th

Cadet Men's Saber

Cody Walter Ji: Bronze Medal
William Morrill: Bronze Medal
Connor Liang: 5th

Team Saber

Team USA Women: 5th
Team USA Men: 17th

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