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Vet Worlds Day 5: Team USA Wins Two Vet-70 Titles, With Kocab Winning Her Eighth and Lutton His First

10/15/2023, 9:00pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell & Nicole Kirk

On Sunday at Vet Worlds, Liz Kocab got past 14-time Vet World champion Marja-Liisa Someroja of Finland to win her eighth title. In the Vet-70 Men’s Foil category, 15-time Vet Worlds team member Thomas Lutton won his first championship.

Photo by Serge Timacheff

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Liz Kocab (Plymouth/Ann Arbor Fencing Academy) has found success at every level of Vet fencing, having won world championships in all three age categories: 50s, 60s and 70+. 

On Sunday at the 2023 FIE Veteran Fencing World Championships, Kocab got past 14-time Vet World champion Marja-Liisa Someroja of Finland to win her eighth title.

So what keeps her coming back to fencing and to Vet Worlds?

This time, it was all about the location — the first Vet Worlds in the United States since 2005 (which was in Tampa, Fla.). 

“I wanted to support USA Fencing,” she says. “I really did. Otherwise, I was actually thinking of stepping away. But the fact that it was in America, I thought that was important to support the USA. This is my way of saying thanks to USA Fencing.”

The win marks Kocab’s eighth individual world championship and fourth in a row: 2018 and 2019 in the 60-69 category and 2022 and 2023 in the 70+. (There was no Vet Worlds in 2020 or 2021.)

But even though she’s done it before, she says the feeling of hearing the national anthem play never gets old.

“It’s always special,” she says.

And it’s even more special when you can win in front of your friends. Kocab says she loves the camaraderie found in fencing — especially at the Veteran level where everyone is there to make friends and have a great time, win or lose. 

“It’s individuals trying to support each other,” she says. “You make friends, and we’re all cheering for each other.”

Next up, Kocab and five of her fellow Women’s Epee fencers will compete in the team event, where the top two finishers from each country at the 50s, 60s and 70+ categories unite for one more shot at gold.

Kocab says she likes the team event because it’s a different kind of pressure.

“There is the pressure of not wanting to let your teammates down,” she says. “So hopefully with a little bit of luck, or a lot of luck, we’ll be victorious.”

In the day’s other category for fencers 70 or older, Thomas Lutton (Denver Fencing Center) took home gold for Team USA in men’s foil.

A 15-time member of the Vet Worlds team, Lutton had medaled once before — a bronze in 2017 in the 60-69 category. 

“I’ve been waiting for this a long time,” he says.

Lutton says he’s most proud of hearing the national anthem and “being proud to represent the country.”

Lutton’s journey to the gold was extra stressful because in the gold medal bout, he rallied back to tie his opponent at 9 — next touch wins.

“You try to keep focused,” Lutton says of the strategy when the score is tied with one point to go. “Don't get wrapped up in the moment and just make the touch.”

Photo by Serge Timacheff

Day 5 Results — Medalists and Team USA

Vet-50 Women’s Epee

Gold and 2023 Veteran World Champion: Georgina Usher (Great Britain)

Silver: Annica De Groote (Sweden)

Bronze:Abigail Nutt (Australia)

Bronze:Carole Charroy (France)

12th: Sharrie Zafft

19th: Ann Marie Totemeier

25th: Yuliya Ganser

39th: Michelle Schutz

Vet-60 Women’s Epee

Gold and 2023 Veteran World Champion: Frauke Hohlbein (Germany)

Silver: Sarah Osvath (Australia)

Bronze: Lorraine Hoyne (Canada)

Bronze: Gianna Cirillo (Italy)

6th: Amy Montoya

10th: George Love

13th: Valerie Asher

23rd: Carole Jeandheur

Vet-70 Women’s Epee

Gold and 2023 Veteran World Champion: Liz Kocab (USA)

Silver: Marja-Liisa Tuulikki Someroja (Finland)

Bronze: Ibolya Hoffmann (Hungary)

Bronze: Lotte Bowie (USA)

9th: Bonnie Aher

18th: Anna Telles

Vet-50 Men’s Foil

Gold and 2023 Veteran World Champion: Cyril Lacroix (France)

Silver: Nick Payne (Great Britain)

Bronze: Darko Limov (Croatia)

Bronze: Bertrand Beaurenault (France)

5th: Rafael Suarez

7th: Nathan Anderson

10th: Marek Wyszynski

25th: Frets Olivares 

Vet-60 Men’s Foil

Gold and 2023 Veteran World Champion: Stephane Huerto (France)

Silver: Silver: Adam Reynolds (Australia)

Bronze: Kenichi Umezawa (Japan)

Bronze: John Troiano (Great Britain)

11th: John Lawrence 

14th: Stephen Gross 

30th: Paul Epply-Schmidt

32nd: Jamie Douraghy

Vet-70 Men’s Foil

Gold and 2023 Veteran World Champion: Thomas Lutton (USA)

Silver: Yutaka Yamazaki (Japan)

Bronze: Laszlo Imreh (Hungary)

Bronze: Eiichi Ide (Japan)

9th: Joseph Biebel 

13th: Frank Thomiszer

18th: Joseph Streb

Photo by Serge Timacheff

Vet Worlds Photo Gallery

Find Day 5 photos on the USA Fencing Facebook page.

Photo by Serge Timacheff

Live and On Demand Video

Find video from the tournament on the FIE YouTube channel.

Tag(s): Updates