In a performance for the ages, Team USA won six of the 18 available gold medals at the 2022 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Team USA's 15 medals — six gold, three silver, six bronze — were nearly double the total of its next closest competitor, Italy, which had eight total medals. Only Team USA (six) and Italy (two) brought home multiple gold medals from the tournament.
Here are five other facts to know:
With gold medals in both junior and cadet women's saber, Magda Skarbonkiewicz (Oregon Fencing Alliance) became the first athlete — man or woman — to win golds in both saber events at the same tournament since Rebecca Ward (USA) did so in 2006. Mariel Zagunis (USA) also accomplished this feat in 2001.
After taking home the gold medal in junior women's foil, Lauren Scruggs (Peter Westbrook Foundation/Harvard University) is now a five-time world champion. She won two medals in 2019 — a gold in junior women’s foil and a gold in cadet women’s foil. A year before that, she was part of the gold medal-winning junior women’s foil team. And after winning the individual title in 2022, she was part of the gold medal-winning junior women's foil team (alongside Maia Weintraub, Zander Rhodes and Rachael Kim).
Trailing 12-6 in the semifinals against the tournament’s top seed, Samuel Imrek (Alliance Fencing Academy) didn't panic. He trusted his training and his coach, scoring nine of the next 11 points to make the finals. And in the finals, he was victorious, bringing home cadet men's epee gold to the United States. It was Team USA's first gold in the event since 2013 (Ari Simmons).
Since junior women started fencing all three weapons in 1999, no country had ever won gold medals in all three junior events. Until now. With gold medals from Skarbonkiewicz in saber, Scruggs in foil and Hadley Husisian (Fencing Sports Academy) in epee, Team USA swept the junior women's events for the first time ever.
Two Team USA women ended junior championship droughts in epee and saber. Husisian's gold in epee was the first for Team USA since 2008 (Kelley Hurley). Skarbonkiewicz's gold in saber was the first for Team USA since 2006 (Becca Ward).
Junior women's foil is a different story. Seven of the past 11 champions in that event have come from the United States:
2011: Nzingha Prescod
2014: Lee Kiefer
2015: Sara Taffel
2016: Sabrina Massialas
2019: Lauren Scruggs
2021: May Tieu
2022: Lauren Scruggs
For a closer look at Team USA's performance in each weapon — including a story, full results and photo gallery, use the links below.
The junior men's saber team huddles before competition at the 2022 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships in Dubai. Photo by #BizziTeam