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James Sands Wins Gold, Sara Taffel Takes Bronze at Pisa Cadet Foil European Cup

02/15/2012, 12:00pm CST
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Fifteen-year-old James Sands (New York City, N.Y.) and 16-year-old Sara Taffel (New York City, N.Y.) won silver and bronze, respectively, at the Pisa Cadet Foil European Cup in Pisa, Italy on Saturday.

Competing in his first cadet international season, Sands earned a bye into the table of 64 as the 13th seed after the pools and won his opening bout against Davide Filippi (ITA), 15-7, and defeated Mario Langer (AUT), 15-3, in the table of 32.

Sands continued to hold his next opponent to a single digit score as he won a decisive bout against David Vegh (SVK), 15-6, in the table of 16.

In the quarter-finals, however, Sands was challenged by Lorenzo Francella (ITA), but pulled out the final touch of the bout to earn a 15-14 win and guarantee himself a medal.

After a 15-11 win against Andras Nemeth (HUN) in the semifinals, Sands advanced to the gold medal bout where he lost by a single touch to Luca Gualazzini (ITA), 11-10.

Sands’s silver medal win is his first at an international event.

Taffel, who won gold at the cadet event in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany in October, solidified her #1 position in the U.S. cadet rankings going into the final weekend of the Cadet Worlds selection period with her bronze medal win.

Taffel, who won four of her six pool bouts, entered the table of 128 as the 41st seed, but she started the table of strongly with a 15-4 win against Golidze (GEO).

In her next two bouts, Taffel won each by a score of 15-10 as she defeated Youssra Zakarani (FRA) and Barbara Oravecz (ITA).

Fencing in the table of 16, Taffel nearly shut out Rozene Castanie (FRA) for a 15-1 win to advance to the quarter-finals alongside teammate Jessie Laffey (Glen Ridge, N.J.)

Taffel won her bout against Chloe Jubenot (FRA), 15-12, but Laffey lost the bout to Kristina Samsonova (RUS), 15-3, and finished fifth – her best result ever at an international event.

Taffel fenced Samsonova in the semifinals and ended the day with a bronze after a 15-7 loss to the Russian who is now the top-ranked athlete in the cadet European rankings.

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

Men’s Pisa Cadet Foil European Cup
1. Luca Gualazzini (ITA)
2. James Sands (New York City, N.Y.)
3. Andras Nemeth (HUN)
3. Andrea Enrico Sanfilippo (ITA)
5. Anton Zakharikov (RUS)
6. Lorenzo Francella (ITA)
7. Gianluca Martini (ITA)
8. Federico Baraldi (ITA)

11. Jarred Gou (Saratoga, Calif.)
12. Jeffrey Chen (Cupertino, Calif.)
13. Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
15. John Philippe Avendano (Colts Neck, N.J.)
16. Stephen Mageras (Darien, Conn.)
17. Joseph Lam (San Francisco, Calif.)
23. Raymond Chen (Dallas, Texas)
25. Thomas Dudey (Bellaire, Texas)
28. Drew Johnston (Whitehouse Station, N.J.)
35. Spicer Emge (Los Angeles, Calif.)
37. George Haglund (Califon, N.J.)
54. John Vaiani (Belmar, N.J.)
61. Alexander Szilagyi (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.)
74. Marc Berghouse (Redwood City, Calif.)

Women’s Pisa Cadet Foil European Cup
1. Oksana Pogrebniak (RUS)
2. Kristina Samsonova (RUS)
3. Mariapaola Paita (ITA)
3. Sara Taffel (New York City, N.Y.)
5. Jessie Laffey (Glen Ridge, N.J.)
6. Chloe Jubenot (FRA)
6. Camilla Rivano (ITA)
8. Clemence Lesaine-Hoang (FRA)

11. Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
13. Julia Lee (Montville, N.J.)
20. Miranda Litzinger (Los Gatos, Calif.)
25. Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)
30. Clarissa Allen (Newtown, Pa.)
31. Nicole Vaiani (Belmar, N.J.)
46. Gabriella Zusin (New York City, N.Y.)
56. Bryce Koester (Colleyville, Texas)
66. Hali Nelson (Brookline, Mass.)
76. Ashley Tsue (Overland Park, Kans.)
84. Taylor Chin (Cupertino, Calif.)
88. Kate Northrop (Bridgewater, N.J.)
104. Stefani Kahookele (San Francisco, Calif.)

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