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Alexander Massialas Makes History with Silver Medal Win at Junior Worlds

04/04/2011, 12:24pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Amman, Jordan) – Just three days ago, 16-year-old Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) stood on the podium as he received his second Cadet World Championships gold medal in as many years.

On Sunday, Massialas came to earn his first Junior Worlds individual podium finish during his fourth trip to the Junior Worlds.

Massialas succeeded, winning the silver medal in men’s foil and becoming the first U.S. man to win both junior and cadet world medals in the same year.

“He fenced great. He was wonderful. It was a great competition for Alexander and second at the Juniors is always something to be proud of,” said his father and coach Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Just as he had in the cadet competition, Massialas emerged from the pools undefeated and earned a bye into the table of 64.

Massialas won his first bout against Roberts Aboltins (LAT), 15-6.

In the table of 32, Massialas’s victory did not come easily as he and Dong-Su Kim (KOR) were tied at 10 apiece, before Massialas secured the win, 15-13.

Massialas and Alex Tofalides (GBR) were tied at six in the final minute of their table of 16 bout when Massialas was given a point when Tofalides stepped off the back of the strip. Tofalides was visibly rattled by the exchange and Massialas capitalized on the opportunity by scoring four more touches in the final minute to win the bout, 11-8.

In the quarter-finals, Massialas controlled his bout against Lorenzo Nista (ITA) well as he won the bout, 15-9.

Massialas won his semifinal as well by a score of 15-9 against 2008 World medalist Robert Gatai (HUN).

Massialas’s final was a rematch of both the 2010 Cadet Worlds and Youth Olympic finals against Edoardo Luperi (ITA).

While Massialas won their Cadet Worlds final, Luperi earned the more recent win at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August.

With the score sitting at 5-4 after Massialas scored his fourth touch, the score was given to Luperi to give the Italian a 6-3 lead and a momentum shift in which he would begin outscoring Massialas to win the bout, 15-9.

“I fenced pretty decently overall. Nothing phenomenal, but good enough to get me second place,” Massialas said. “Sometimes you can give it your all, but the other person just fences better.”

Massialas’s two teammates both advanced to the table of 32.

Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a 2010 Cadet World medalist, was undefeated in the pools with five straight wins which earned him a bye into the table of 64 where he won his first match against Mohamed Essam (EGY), 15-6.

In the table of 32, Imboden earned another solid victory as he defeated Brendan Francis Cusack (IRL), 15-6.

Imboden’s success continued for the first half of his bout in the table of 16 against Kirill Lichagin (RUS) in which Imboden led 12-4.

With his back against the proverbial wall, Lichagin changed his strategy and rapidly increased the pace on Imboden late in the first period.

By midway through the second period, Imboden was down by a touch, 14-13, but the Russian was given his second yellow card of the match which meant a point was awarded for Imboden to tie the bout.

Lichagin scored the next touch and won the bout, 15-14. Imboden placed 10th overall.

After going 4-2 in the pools, 2010 Cadet World medalist David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) had a bye into the table of 64 in which he won his first bout, 15-11, against Aliaksandr Lukashevich (BLR).

In the table of 32, however, Willette struggled in his bout with Francesco Trani (ITA) who took a 7-0 lead during the first period.

Willette closed the gap to 12-8, but Trani still won the bout, 15-11, while Willette placed 28th overall.

While Massialas was the highest finishing U.S. man in both junior and cadet competition, 16-year-old Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas) earned that honor on the women’s side with her eighth place finish in the junior division on the heels of placing fifth in cadet competition.

Unlike on Thursday when Van Brummen came out of the pools with a #2 seed, Van Brummen lost her opening three bouts and found herself nearly not advancing to direct elimination.

“I lost my first three and I was like ‘Make it past pools. Make it past pools,’” Van Brummen said. “’ It was kind of towards the end of the pools that I just said ‘Woah, what are you doing?’ and started doing what I knew how to do.”

By the table of 64, Van Brummen’s nerves had settled and she earned two quick wins over Pavlina Sucha (CZE), 15-3, and Sara Fernandez Calleja (ESP), 15-7.

In the table of 16, Van Brummen defeated two-time Junior European Champion Rossella Fiamingo (ITA), 15-11 to advance to the quarter-finals against 2009 Junior World Champion Yujie Sun (CHN) who is not only an amazing fencer, but easily the tallest athlete in the field.

“She was close to a whole head taller than me,” said the 5’8” Van Brummen. “It was really hard fencing her, but I went into it and just wanted to take it one at a time.”

Van Brummen kept the score within a touch for most of the bout, until Sun pulled ahead at 12-10 and went on to win the bout 15-11 as Van  Brummen placed eighth overall.

Both the women’s epee and men’s foil teams will compete in the team competition on Wednesday.

“I love all my teammates and I’m really excited for the team event,” Van Brummen said.

Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.) and Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.) each placed in the top-32.

Abend opened with a 15-8 win over Patrizia Piovesan Silva (RUS), but lost 15-11 to Tatiana Gudkova (RUS) in the table of 32 to place 21st.

Holmes defeated Isabel Di Tella (ARG), 15-7 in the table of 64 and lost a close bout to Katrina Lehis (EST), 15-12 to finish 28th.

Team competition in the junior men’s saber and junior women’s team foil begins on Monday with the following athletes scheduled to compete:

Junior Men’s Team Saber
Evan Prochniak (Hudson, N.H.)
Sean Buckley (Secaucus, N.J.)
Rhys Douglas (Apache Junction, Ariz.)
Will Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y.)

Junior Women’s Team Foil
Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
Jacqueline Dubrovich, (Riverdale, N.J.)

Top-eight results are as follows:

Junior Men’s Foil
1. Edoardo Luperi (ITA)
2. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Kirill Lichiagin (RUS)
3. Robert Gatai (HUN)
5. Francesco Trani (ITA)
5. Lorenzo Nista (ITA)
7. Moritz Kroplin (GER)
8. Carlos Llavador (ESP)

10. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
28. David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)

Junior Women’s Epee
1. Violetta Kolobova (RUS)
2. Yujie Sun (CHN)
3. Maya Guchmazova (RUS)
3. Camilla Batini (ITA)
5. Lauren Rembi (FRA)
6. Tatiana GUdkova (RUS)
7. Avital Marinuk (ISR)
8. Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)

21. Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.)
28. Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)

Tag(s): News  Alexander Massialas