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Runyan, Sexton and Graham Earn Medals at Veteran World Championships

09/30/2011, 10:27am CDT
By No Author

(Porec, Croatia) – After earning three medals during the first day of competition at the Veteran World Championships on Wednesday, Team USA retained its position at the top of the medal leaderboard with three more podium finishes during competition on Thursday.

Fencing for the third time at the Veteran Worlds, 52-year-old Josh Runyan (San Diego, Calif.) reached the medal rounds for the first time as he earned a silver in the 50-59 saber event.

Runyan gave up just eight touches in five pool bouts to earn a #3 seed in the direct elimination table.

With 27 athletes advancing out of the pools, Runyan’s seed earned him a bye before a table of 16 bout against two-time Veteran World Team member Ted Smith (Diamond Springs, N.J.)

Runyan won the bout against his teammate, 10-7, to advance to the quarter-finals where he defeated Sergey Agapov (RUS), 10-5.

Runyan earned his eighth win of the day in the semifinals where he quickly won his bout against Bernd Brock (GER), 10-3.

In the finals, two-time Veteran World Champion Vittorio Carrara (ITA) controlled the first half of the bout with a 5-0 lead at the break. Runyan made a comeback in the second half as he closed Carrara’s lead to 9-6 before the Italian ended the bout, 10-6, and successfully defended his 2010 title.

 “I thought I fenced really consistently all day. I was happy with my bouts all day. The second half of my final I was happy with, the first half, not as much so,” Runyan said. “It was just trying to adjust to Carrara because he fences a lot faster off the start than anybody I’d fenced all day. And I had to adjust to the referee during the first half and I think I did by the second half, but, by then, it was too late.”

After two top-eight finishes at the 2009 and 2010 Veteran Worlds, Runyan said he was proud to make it to the finals where he was coached by his wife Heidi Runyan (San Diego, Calif.) who will be competing in the women’s 50-59 saber event on Saturday.

“It’s my third time here and I worked hard to make it to the finals, so it feels good to finally get there and it was great having Heidi there to coach me throughout the day,” Runyan said. “We fence because it’s fun and we enjoy it, so I’ll look forward to getting my chance to coach her in a few days.”

All three of Runyan’s teammates advanced to the table of 16. In addition to Smith, who finished 15th after his loss to Runyan, Will Milne (Redwood City, Calif.) finished 10th and Dmitri Kopylove (Roseland, N.J.) placed 14th.

The only American ever to have won medals in all three weapons at the Veteran Worlds, Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas) won his ninth overall medal on Thursday with a bronze medal finish in the 60-69 foil.

Seeded 10th after the pools, Sexton won his opening bout against Ravil Zakirov (RUS), 10-8, and defeated Aleksandar Anastasov (MGD), 10-6, to advance as one of two Americans in the quarterfinals along with Neal White (Chicago, Ill.) who defeated teammates Jan Patterson (Seattle, Wash.) and Ron King (San Diego, Calif.) with both victories coming with 10-5 scores.

Although White lost his bout against two-time Veteran World medalist Kazuo Takeishi (JPN), 10-6, to finish in eighth, Sexton won his bout against Arturo De Bartolomeis (ITA), 10-9, to advance to the medal rounds.

In the semifinals, however, Sexton lost to Graham Paul (GBR), 6-5, to place third.

Competing in the +70 epee, Bettie Graham (New York City, N.Y.) finished fourth in the pools to advance to the direct elimination table.

In Graham’s first bout, she defeated Irina Bunn (GER), 10-7. Graham fenced well in the semifinals, but lost to Janet Cooksey (GBR) who would go on to win her ninth Veteran World Championship gold.

Fencing in the women’s 60-69 foil, two members of the U.S. team finished in the top 16 – Joanne Stevens (New York City, N.Y.) and Madelon Rosenfeld (New York City, N.Y.) – each finished 11th and 16th, respectively.  Muriel Cawthorn (Rehoboth, Mass.) and Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.) each earned top-32 placings.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Men’s 60-69 Foil
1. Graham Paul (GBR)
2. Brian Causton (GBR)
3. Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
3. Kazuo Takeishi (JPN)
5. Arturo De Bartolomeis (ITA)
6. Eiichi Ide (JPN)
7. Socrate Abdoukadyrove (FRA)
8. Neal White (Chicago, Ill.)

13. Ron King (San Diego, Calif.)
18. Jan Patterson (Seattle, Wash.)

Men’s 50-59 Saber
1. Vittorio Carrara (ITA)
2. Joshua Runyan (San Diego, Calif.)
3. Bernd Brock (GER)
3. Semjons Zelikovics (LAT)
5. Giulio Paroli (ITA)
6. Alexander Baranov (RUS)
7. Sergey Agapov (RUS)
8. Eric Louiseau (FRA)

10. Will Milne (Redwood City, Calif.)
14. Dmitri Kopylov (Roseland, N.J.)
15. Ted Smith (Diamond Springs, N.J.)

Women’s 60-69 Foil
1. Kerstin Palm (SWE)
2. Clare Halsted (GBR)
3. Marie Chantal DeMaille (FRA)
3. Marja-Liisa Tuulikki (FIN)
5. Liubov Mayorova (RUS)
6. Nadjda Arskaya (RUS)
7. Antoinette Willard (FRA)
8. Yumiko Tanaka (JPN)

11. Joanne Stevens (New York City, N.Y.)
16. Madelon Rosenfeld (New York City, N.Y.)
19. Muriel Cawthorn (Rehoboth, Mass.)

20. Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.)

Women’s +70 Epee
1. Janet Cooksey (GBR)
2. Marianne Hempelmann (GER)
3. Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.)
3. Galina Pshenickhkina (RUS)
5. Sylvia Brown (GBR)
6. Irina Bunn (GER)
7. Christina Haarlem (SWE)
8. Carol Wengraf (GBR)

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