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USA Team Aiming For Gold

08/13/2010, 12:47pm CDT
By No Author

The US Youth Olympics fencing team is setting its sights high for the upcoming competitions.

United States of America fencing coach Sergei Isayenko (UKR) has his sights set on three individual medals and a gold in the team event at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, as the USA step up their training at the International Convention Centre.

"Five (medals) is ideal, but let's be realistic," Isayenko said. "If we did better than our target of four medals, then I'd be the happiest person ever."

The USA finished the 2010 Cadet World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, with one gold medal from foil fencer Alexander Massialas (USA) and most other United States fencers finishing in the top 10.

"The final result (from the qualifying event) was good but there were a lot of good teams around, such as Russia and Italy," Isayenko said. "I ensured my fencers took part in at least two tournaments in preparation for the Youth Olympics, so I think they are very mature fencers."

Two United States fencers will not be competing at the Games despite qualifying in Baku, but Isayenko feels the team is not inhibited by their absence.

"I wish we had a full team, that would be perfect," he said. "But all our athletes have the potential to do really well. All the athletes practice separately as they have their own personal coaches, but I know they are in pretty good shape for the Games."

Epee fencer Katharine Holmes, who suffered an off-field right ankle injury, believes the United States will walk away from the first Youth Olympic Games with medals.

"We still have a really strong team," she said. "We have five brutally strong fencers who have done well in competitions and we stand a good chance of medalling, if not actually winning the team event."

When the United States team are not fencing, they have been enjoying their free time together at the Youth Olympic Village at Nanyang Technological University.

"We are a team," coach Isayenko said. "We work together, we play together. We're trying all sorts of different sports at the village such as table tennis and pool, and I hope the fencers grow from the experience here in Singapore."

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