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Powers, Eldeib and Ro Place Top 16 at Cadet Worlds

03/31/2011, 12:08pm CDT
By No Author

(Amman, Jordan) – Three members of Team USA competed in the table of 16 at the Cadet World Championships in Jordan on Wednesday.
Fifteen-year-old Skyla Powers (Atlanta, Ga.) placed 10th in the women’s saber, giving her the top result for Team USA during the second day of the nine-day tournament.

Powers went undefeated in her pool to earn a first-round bye into the table of 64 as the #3 seed.

Powers dominated her first opponent, Alekxandra Echeverria (MEX), 15-2, to advance to the table of 16.

In her next bout, Powers faced Valeria Bolshakova, a Russian whom Powers had lost to, 15-11, at the Konin Cadet World Cup in Poland in September.

Powers started off strong again, taking a 5-1 lead, but Bolshkova came back to tie the bout at 13 and take the win, 15-14.

“I just got unlucky with how the bracket worked out, but I do think I fenced well,” said Powers after her loss to the eventual bronze medalist. “I’m glad I did better this time than what I did early in the season, but I’m still disappointed.”

Powers will compete again on Saturday in the junior division and Tuesday in team competition.

“I really want to place top eight in juniors, but the team is more about wanting to fence my best for my team rather than a particular result,” Powers said.

Powers’ teammates, Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) and Margaret McDonald (Atlanta, Ga.) also earned byes into the table of 32.

Russo had an excellent start to her opening bout, taking the lead against Lisa Freudenberger (GER), 8-5, but the German scored three unanswered touches to tie the bout before ultimately earning the win, 15-13.

Russo placed 19th overall and, like Powers, will be competing in both the junior individual and team events.

McDonald fenced Stavroula Dimkou (GRE) during her bout in the direct elimination table, but lost the bout, 15-8 to place 21st.

In the men’s epee, both Brian Ro (Scarsdale, N.Y.) and Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.) earned top-16 placings.

Ro, Eldeib and teammate Raymond Schorr (Los Angeles, Calif.) all qualified for the table of 64 and each advanced to the table of 32 after opening bout wins.

Although Schorr lost his next bout, 15-12, to Kerr Hutchinson (CAN) to place 19th, his teammates both earned victories in their second table bouts of the day. 

In the table of 32, Eldeib and Balazs Hamar (HUN) battled back and forth before Eldeib took the win, 15-14.
Minutes later, Ro was on the same strip, competing against Saleh Saleh (EGY).
The two fenced a strategic bout with Ro taking the lead at 4-3 going into the third period.
And while the bout might have been described as methodical during the first six minutes, the two quickly exchanged multiple touches to tie the score, 6-6, with just over 30 seconds remaining.
Saleh celebrated what could have been the final score with 20 seconds on the clock, but Ro earned another score during one of the final exchanges to send the bout into a one-minute overtime period in which Ro scored the first touch to win the bout.
With one win needed for each athlete in the table of 16 before Eldeib and Ro would have met in the quarters, Eldeib lost a 15-10 bout to Lorenzo Buzzi (ITA) who would go on to win the gold.
“What really went wrong is that in the beginning I couldn’t really control the match like I wanted, but in the middle I stayed with him. It’s just that at the end he got up by one touch and kept going,” said Eldeib who placed 13th in the division. “I could’ve done a little bit better, but I had some good bouts, so overall I’m pretty happy.”
As Team USA’s final hope for a top-eight finish, Ro returned to the strip and closed an 8-4 gap against Daniel Haglund (SWE) to 10-8. Haglund held on for the win, however, giving up just one more touch en route to winning the bout, 15-11.
Eldeib will return to the strip on Tuesday where he will be an alternate for the junior team competition.
“I’m pretty excited for the team competition,” Eldeib said. “I know the other three guys really well and I like them a lot and I think as a team we’re going to work really well together.”
Ro finished 11th in not only his first Cadet Worlds, but Ro’s third major international competition.
While many fencers find themselves competing against the same athletes at World Cup and Championship events, Ro said he was still new to the international scene and didn’t know many of his opponents.
“I’ve never seen most of these guys before, so I just went with my default fencing strategy and it worked,” Ro said.
Although he is in his last year of cadet eligibility, Ro said the experience has taught him lessons that can be applied during upcoming junior tournaments.
“A lot of kids are good, but they’re definitely beatable, so I’m not too far away,” he said.
Competition continues on Thursday with the women’s epee and men’s foil divisions.
The list of U.S. competitors is as follows:

Cadet Women’s Epee

Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.)
Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.)

Cadet Men’s Foil

Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)
Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)

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

Cadet Men’s Epee
1. Lorenzo Buzzi (ITA)
2. Tim Kuchalski (GER)
3. Daniel Berta (HUN)
3. Gabriele Cimini (ITA)
5. Guillermo Sanchez Rodriguez (ESP)
6. Kerr Hutchinson (CAN)
7. Daniel Haglund (SWE)
8. Philip Marsh (GBR)

11. Brian Ro (Scarsdale, N.Y.)
13. Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.)
19. Raymond Schorr (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Cadet Women’s Saber
1. Viktoria Kuybark (RUS)
2. Chiara Mormile (ITA)
3. Stavroula Dimkou (GRE)
3. Valeria Bolshakova (RUS)
5. Xinting Yu (CHN)
6. Malgorzata Turek (POL)
7. Martina Criscio (ITA)
8. Lisa Freudenberger (GER)

10. Skyla Powers (Atlanta, Ga.)
19. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
21. Margaret McDonald (Atlanta, Ga.)

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