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Jessie Radanovich and Alexander Eldeib Win Bronzes at Cadet Worlds

04/02/2012, 4:00am CDT
By No Author

(Moscow, Russia) – Team USA ended the Cadet World Championships on Monday with two more trips to the podium to finish the U17 event with six medals total – 25% of those available and the most of any nation at the event.

Hungary and the host nation finished the cadet event with three medals each with the Junior World Championships set to begin on Tuesday for athletes ages 20 and under.

Seventeen-year-olds Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.) and Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.) won bronzes in the men’s and women’s events, respectively.

A three-time Cadet World Team member, Eldeib went struggled in the pools where he posted a 3-3 result and nearly missed the cut to the table of 64 when he trailedByeungchan Jung (KOR), 13-11, before closing out the bout, 15-14.

“I had a hard time in pools and the first DE, but I was doing better by the end of that 128 bout,” Eldeib said.

After a 15-10 win over Gautier Hamoline (BEL), Eldeib dominated his bout againstMartin Rubes (CZE) to win the table of 32, 15-6.

In the table of 16, Eldeib scored six unanswered touches against Ariel Drizin (ISR) in the first 90 seconds of the bout, but Drizin made a comeback to bring the score to 9-8 at the break. The two exchanged touches until the score was tied at 12. After two double touches, Eldeib scored the final point to close the bout at 15-14.

“I started off really well. I was 6-0 and then I was just sort of rushing. By the end, I got a little bit lucky because he gave me a real easy touch,” Eldeib said. “Honestly, I’m really happy I didn’t get stuck in the 16 this time! I lost there the last two years and I was very close to ending up there again, so I’m happy I pulled it off.”

In the quarter-finals, Eldeib built a 10-4 lead over Hyeonil Hwang (KOR) in the first period. After giving up just four touches in the second, Eldeib won the bout, 15-8.

“My 32 and eight were really good bouts. I moved a lot which is really good for me to think about sometimes.  When I’m not moving much, I’m not really conscious of it, but in those bouts I did a really good job of using the whole strip and moving things around,” Eldeib said.

Eldeib had an hour to regroup before his semifinal bout against Sebastian Majgier (POL).

Majgier led the bout, 13-6, when Eldeib scored to bring the score to 13-7. The next score was a double touch for both athletes after which Bajgier scored a single to earn a 15-8 win.

“I hadn’t seen him at any of the World Cups, so that was a little surprising to me that he made the finals,” Eldeib said. “I think I was just rushing a little bit again in that one. I think if I would have slowed down, it probably would have been a little different.”

Eldeib’s bronze medal finish comes in his final year of cadet eligibility.

“It’s definitely confirmation that all my hard work paid off and that I could end with a medal,” he said.

Eldeib will compete again on Thursday in the individual junior event and Sunday in the team competition.

“I’m excited. This will be my first time fencing junior individual. I fenced team last year and I’m excited for both individual and team,” he said.

Eldeib’s teammate, Garrett McGrath (Maricopa, Ariz.) finished 62nd. After a 15-5 loss to Samuel Lee (SIN), McGrath was tied with Tom Bontes (NED), 15-12, but Bontes scored the next three touches to win the bout, 15-12.

Spencer Amman (Westminster, Colo.) was eliminated after the pool rounds and finished 99th overall.

In the women’s event, Radanovich entered her final Cadet Worlds looking to improve on her 2011 results after finishing 44th in her first appearance at the Cadet Worlds last year.

Although her debut was disappointing, Radanovich came into her second Cadet World appearance with two bronze medal finishes on the Cadet European circuit earlier this season.

Indeed, Radanovich started strong with just one loss in the pools to earn a seventh seed and a bye into the table of 64 where she defeated Adele Karoblyte (LTU), 15-8.

In the table of 32, Radanovich and Dora Legradi (HUN) exchanged a total of eight double touches en route to Radanovich earning the win, 15-13.

Fencing against Cuba’s only athlete in the tournament, Radanovich defeated Gliane Lopez Silveira, 15-9, in the table of 16.

With one win needed to secure a medal, Radanovich led her quarter-final bout againstHye In Lee (KOR), 12-5, when the referees determined that there were problems with the equipment. After discussion, Radanovich was told to fence the remainder of the bout with a new weapon.

“My light kept going off randomly. It wasn’t my blade I don’t think because it would go off when nobody hit anything for the Cuban girl when I was fencing her earlier on,” said Radanovich who kept her composure and went on to finish the bout, 15-5. “It was a little rattling because I didn’t like that blade It was a lot flickier than the other one because my other one had just broken and I was on my second backup, but it was ok because it worked.”

Radanovich’s semifinal was a rematch of her semifinal at the Gothenburg Cadet European Cup in February against Cadet European Champion Daria Strelnikov (ISR).

Although Radanovich lost the bout in February to Strelnikov, 15-5, she said the experience was good preparation for the medal bout on Monday.

“I knew how I’d scored on her in Sweden and I planned on using the same thing, but she changed it up and it didn’t work well,” Radanovich said.

Although Strelnikov built a 13-9 lead, Radanovich remained determined to make a comeback.  

“I didn’t have anything to lose, so I just went after her 100%,” she said.

Radanovich kept attacking and scored twice more to bring the score to 13-11, but two double touches gave Strelnikov the win, 15-13.

“I was so nervous last year.  But this time I knew what to expect and wasn’t freaked out at all,” Radanovich said. “It’s been a long season, but it’s pretty cool to have been able to put it all together and win a medal.”

Radanovich’s teammate at both this year’s event and the 2011 Cadet Worlds, Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.) missed joining her on the medal stand by a single touch.

Abend went undefeated in the pools to earn a fifth seed in the direct elimination tables. After a bye into the table of 64, Abend won her next bout, 15-13, over Jiyoung Lee (KOR) and defeated Aya Mahdy (EGY), 15-12, to advance to the table of 16.

Abend took a 9-6 lead in her next bout against Oleksandra Kornilova (UKR). Five touches later, Abend was about to close out the bout when Kornilova received a red card for a hit to Abend’s mask.

In the quarter-finals, Abend led Xue Qin (CHN), 14-13, but Qin scored the next two touches to win the bout, 15-14.

Victoria Wines (Mahopac, N.Y.) also competed on Monday, but finished 44th after a table of 64 loss to Reka Bohus (HUN), 15-10.

Competition will begin at the Junior World Championships on Tuesday.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Cadet Women’s Epee
1. Daria Strelnikov (ISR)
2. Yixuan Xiang (CHN)
3. Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.)
3. Xue Qin (CHN)
5. Alona Komarov (ISR)
6. Hye In Lee (KOR)
7. Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.)
8. Lizaveta Khlystunova (BLR)

47. Victoria Wines (Mahopac, N.Y.)

Cadet Men’s Epee
1. Yuval Shalom Freilich (ISR)
2. Sebastian Majgier (POL)
3. Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.)
3. Balazs Hamar (HUN)
5. Jonas Lund (NOR)
6. Alvaro Ibanez (ESP)
7. Sangyoung Park (KOR)
8. Hyeonil Hwang (KOR)

62. Garrett Amman (Maricopa, Ariz.)
99. Spencer Amann (Westminster, Colo.)

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