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Wang Yung Wins Gold, Team USA Wins Total Medal Count at Veteran Worlds

10/03/2011, 9:09am CDT
By No Author

(Porec, Croatia) – Led by Wang Yung (Bellevue, Wash.) who won his first Veteran World Championship title, Team USA earned three medals at the Veteran World Championships on Sunday to win the overall medal count with 17 medals total.

Team USA’s success not only put the squad ahead of Great Britain who earned 13 medals, but the team’s results marked the most medals earned by any U.S. team at a World Championships.

Competing at the Veteran Worlds for the ninth time, Yang's ninth seed after the pools meant he would not receive a bye in the table of 32.

Wang persisted, however, and won a close bout with Riccardo Carmina (ITA), a 2010 Veteran World medalist, by a score of 10-9. 

Yung won a quick second bout, 10-3, against Volkhard Herbst (GER) to advance to the quarter-finals where he defeated teammate Philip Sbarbaro (Vienna, Va.), 10-6.

Sbarbaro finished eighth – his second top eight finish at this event after placing sixth in 2008.

On the other side of the table, a second quarter-final took place between David Seuss (Charlestown, Mass.) and Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas) who earned his eighth Vet Worlds medal on Thursday when he won bronze in the foil event. Seuss won the bout, 10-5, but lost his next bout to former Olympian Richard Cohen (GBR), 10-5.

Seuss earned bronze at his first Veteran World Championships and Sexton finished sixth as one of four U.S. athletes who all qualified for the quarter-finals.

In the gold medal bout, Yung built a 9-3 lead against Cohen, but the three-time Veteran World Champion came back to score four straight touches to bring the score to 9-7.

“I intentionally eased up so that he, tactically, did something that gave him positive reinforcement. I gave him touches and then I never did it again,” Yung explained. “You feed the tiger a piece of meat and he’s going to look for the meat and then I don’t do it again. Luckily, I had the cushion to take some chances. Richard Cohen is a tremendous competitor so if you did something terribly simple, he’d just eat me alive.”

After the bout, Yung had plenty of praise for his opponent.

“Richard Cohen’s a great champion. He knocked me off at the Vet Worlds in Martinique and went on to the gold medal bout that year,” Yung said. “He’s a three-time World Champion, eight-time European Champion so it was a satisfying bout to win.”

Yung said he felt like he had always had the talent to win gold, but had lacked the ability to put the necessary pieces together at the right time.

“The element I think I was missing in the past was grit and determination. This time I was more determined to win. People were always telling me I had the tools and that I just had to have more determination. So I was a little more focused. I outstrategized, too, but it was a lot about intensity,” Yung said. “Even if you have good strategy, if you can’t pull it off because you’re not psychologically ready or emotionally tenacious enough, you can’t do it and then it sort of spirals down. As a fencing coach, that’s one of the things I focus on. Two of my students, Ellen O’Leary and Jane Eyre, also medaled here and now it’s time to show that I can do it too, rather than just coach.”

Competing in his second event of the week, Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.) followed his silver medal in the +70 epee on Saturday with a bronze in the +70 foil on Sunday.

Adams and Fritz Chang (Lexington, Mass.) both advanced to the quarter-finals, but Chang lost a 10-1 bout against Gary Aftandinov (RUS), the 2010 Veteran World Champion in all three weapons, and finished the day in seventh place.

Adams would fence Aftandinov in the semifinals with the bout being their second in 24 hours after Aftandinov defeated Adams in the gold medal epee bout on Saturday.

Adams held the match close, but Aftandinov outscored the American, 10-6, en route to winning his second gold medal of the week.

David Kosow (Gaithersburg, Md.) also competed in the event, but was eliminated in the pools and finished 18th.

In the men’s 50-59 foil event, three U.S. fencers advanced to the table of 16. Joseph Biebel (Bayside, Wis.), Philippe Bennett (New York City, N.Y.) and Edward Kaihatsu (Skokie, Ill.) finished 12th, 14th and 15th, respectively. Jonathan Zelkowski (Ferndale, Mich.) finished 34th overall.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Men’s 50-59 Foil
1. Igor Kurbatov (RUS)
2. Francois Lecuyer (FRA)
3. Robert Blaschka (AUT)
3. Yury Shvarts (RUS)
5. Christian Dousse (SUI)
6. John Troiano (GBR)
7. Maurizio Galvan (ITA)

12. Joseph Biebel (Bayside, Wis.)
14. Philippe Bennett (New York City, N.Y.)
15. Edward Kaihatsu (Skokie, Ill.)
34. Jonathan Zelkowski (Ferndale, Mich.)

Men’s +70 Foil
1. Gary Aftandilov (RUS)
2. Manfred Hojer (GER)
3. Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.)
3. Wolfgang Fischer (GER)
5. Franz Hirt (GER)
6. Robert Schiel (LUX)
7. Fritz Chang (Lexington, Mass.)
8. Akira Shinki (JPN)

18. David Kosow (Gaithersburg, Md.)

Men’s 50-59 Saber
1. Wang Yung (Bellevue, Wash.)

2. Richard Cohen
3. Helmut Helfricht (GER)
3. David Seuss (Charlestown, Mass.)
5. Kazuo Takeishi (JPN)
6. Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
7. Zsolt Nagy (HUN)
8. Philip Sbarbaro (Vienna, Va.)

Tag(s): News  Philippe Bennett