Leonid Kotov (Phoenix Fencing Academy) lands a touch against Roger Mengke Wu (Laguna Fencing Center) during the finals of the Division IA men's saber competition. (Photo by Serge Timacheff)
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Sometimes all it takes is a day — and some patience.
Less than 24 hours after falling in the Round of 64 in junior men’s saber, Leonid Kotov (Phoenix Fencing Academy) got back on the strip for Sunday’s Division IA men’s saber competition.
With the benefit of a fresh day and a new approach, he kept on winning until he found himself atop the medal podium as national champion.
“[Today was about] slowing down and taking it step by step — patiently — and not rushing forward,” he says. “That’s something I had issues with yesterday.”
Kotov earned one of six gold medals awarded on the second day of the 2022 USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge, better known as Summer Nationals.
After dropping his first bout in pools, Kotov won the next five. That strong performance secured him a high seed: fifth out of the 80 fencers who advanced out of pools. As he entered the one-and-done direct elimination bouts, Kotov again found patience to be the operative word.
“I think it was the same as in pools — just being patient, doing what works and cutting out what doesn’t,” he says.
Others doing what worked on Day 2 included gold medalists Andrew Chen (Bluegrass Fencers' Club) in junior men’s foil), Siobhan R. Sullivan (Oregon Fencing Alliance) in junior women’s saber and Isabella Chin (New York Fencing Academy) in junior women’s epee.
In team competition, the Dynamo Fencing squad of Dylan French, Eli Lippman, Avery S. Townsend and Nicholas Z. Zhang took home the top prize in senior men’s epee.
And in the senior women’s foil team event, New Jersey Fencing Alliance earned gold medals thanks to a strong showing from Katherine Apelian, Jacqueline Dubrovich, Allie Lee and Sara Taffel.
Dubrovich, a 2020 Olympian, has a busy few weeks ahead. She will continue training with the senior women’s foil team in Minneapolis, co-host a Fence With Olympians Clinic on July 7 and travel to Cairo, Egypt, for the 2022 Senior World Championships.
Gold and National Champion: Leonid Kotov (Phoenix Fencing Academy)
Silver: Mengke Wu (Laguna Fencing Center)
Bronze: Kelly Liu (Manhattan Fencing Center)
Bronze: Jackson Houtz (Fencing Academy of Denver)
5th: Maxwell H. Greenbaum (Nellya Fencers)
6th: Oliver Berger (LA International Fencing/Southern California Fencing Academy)
7th: Ziyi Yang (Cardinal Fencing Club/Premier Fencing Academy LLC)
8th: Tony V. Escueta (Boston Fencing Club/Globus Fencing Academy)
Gold: Andrew Chen (Bluegrass Fencers' Club)
Silver: Mitchell Huth (Apex Fencing Academy/Jovanovic Fencing)
Bronze: Samarth Kumbla (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)
Bronze: Allen Chen (Bluegrass Fencers' Club)
5th: Daniel D. Zhang (Star Fencing Academy)
6th: Julian Goor (Massialas Foundation (M Team))
7th: Brandon H. Li (Marx Fencing Academy)
8th: Brandon J. Kim (LA International Fencing)
Gold: Dynamo Fencing (Dylan French, Eli Lippman, Avery S. Townsend and Nicholas Z. Zhang)
Silver: 6 Foot Plus (Jesse Li, Daniil Mazur, S Ayush Shah and Konstantin Vaysbukh)
Bronze: PENTA (Gary S. North, Kozmo Rhyu, Christopher Chong and Ian C. Park)
Gold: Siobhan R. Sullivan (Oregon Fencing Alliance)
Silver: Kaitlyn Pak (Manhattan Fencing Center)
Bronze: Magda Skarbonkiewicz (Oregon Fencing Alliance)
Bronze: Vivian Y. Lu (University of Pennsylvania/Oregon Fencing Alliance)
5th: Lola P. Possick (Advance Fencing and Fitness Academy)
6th: Sophie Liu (Capital Fencing Academy)
7th: Zoe Kim (Nellya Fencers)
8th: Madeline A. Engelman-Sanz (Bergen Fencing Club)
Gold: New Jersey Fencing Alliance (Katherine Apelian, Jacqueline Dubrovich, Allie Lee and Sara Taffel)
Silver: Baby Irish (Jojo Conway, Nicole Pustilnik, Daena Talavera and Sophie L. Zhao)
Bronze: Just Fence (Kimberley Jang, Lucy Liao, Anice Orvananos and Lauren S. Scruggs)
Gold: Isabella Chin (New York Fencing Academy)
Silver: Ruien Xiao (Canada)
Bronze: Jessica Y. Lin (Medeo Fencing Club)
Bronze: Grace Hu (Canada)
5th (tie): Hadley N. Husisian (Fencers Club Inc./Elite Fencing Academy (VA))
5th (tie): Sarah Gu (Medeo Fencing Club)
7th: Kyle R. Fallon (Fencing Academy of Westchester)
8th: Michelle J. Lee (Alliance Fencing Academy)
Find full results at Fencing Time Live.