Samuel Imrek scores a touch in the cadet men's epee finals against Israel's Alon Sarid. Photo by #BizziTeam
Down 12-6 in the semifinals against the tournament’s top seed, Samuel Imrek (Alliance Fencing Academy) was on the ropes. But something inside him — plus some timely encouragement and tactical advice from his coach — told him to keep going.
Imrek bounced back, scoring nine of the final 11 touches, to win his semifinals bout and advance to the cadet men’s epee finals, where he secured a gold medal — one of five epee medals for Team USA at the 2022 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“I was thinking it was over,” Imrek says. “But something inside of me just kept going, and I was able to score and close it out.”
There’s a message in that for any fencer.
“Never doubt yourself,” Imrek says. “Just keep on going, even when it’s really hard. Keep on pushing it, and one day you might be world champion.”
In junior women’s epee, Hadley Husisian (Fencing Sports Academy) took the gold medal, bouncing back from some mixed results in the pools to fence flawlessly in the elimination rounds and emerge atop the 161-athlete event.
“I just tried to not let the score get to my head whether I’m up or down,” Husisian says. “It’s been a tough year — a lot of training, a lot of adversity. It’s just great to do this for myself and for my coach and for my family and for everyone who supported me.”
Husisian made it to the finals after fencing her teammate Ketki Ketkar (Kaizen Fencing Academy) in the semifinals. Ketkar brought home bronze.
On the last evening of the championships, Team USA advanced to the finals of the junior men’s epee team event, where it lost to Egypt to earn a silver medal. That same evening, Team USA’s junior women’s epee team made the podium after battling Sweden for a bronze.
Hadley Husisian: Gold Medal and World Champion
Ketki Ketkar: Bronze Medal
Faith Park (DC Fencers Club): 31st
Sarah Gu (Medeo Fencing Club): 53rd
Justin Haddad (DC Fencers Club/Columbia University): 19th
Skyler Liverant (New York Fencing Academy): 20th
Henry Lawson (Fencers Club): 48th
Gabriel Feinberg (Olympia Fencing Center/The Ohio State University): 58th
Sarah Gu (Medeo Fencing Club): 6th
Yasmine Khamis (Alliance Fencing Academy): 10th
Kyle Fallon (Fencing Academy of Westchester): 42nd
Samuel Imrek: Gold Medal and World Champion
Alexander Liu (Alliance Fencing Academy): 5th
Kent Iyoki (Northwest Fencing Center): 74th
Team USA Men: Silver Medal
Team USA Women: Bronze Medal