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American Saber Fencers Advance, Foil Fencers Await

06/19/2010, 9:07am CDT
By No Author

NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. saber fencers advanced in a variety of ways at the FIE World Cup in the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge. The top-ranked Americans didn’t have to step on the strip today. Others had to battle through pool play and then direct elimination for a spot in the table of 64. All told, 23 U.S. fencers qualified for a spot in the final 128 in the men’s and women’s fields combined.

World No. 1 Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.), 2008 Olympic silver medalist Timothy Morehouse (Bronx, N.Y.) and Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) received byes all the way to the table of 64 by virtue of their FEI rankings. Morehouse and Wozniak both entered the World Cup ranked 14th in their respective divisions. Others, such as Jeff Spear and Emily Jacobson, did well enough in pool play to receive a bye past the table of 128 into the second day of the competition. Spear was victorious in five of six pool matches while Jacobson earned a No. 20 seed in the table of 64 after going undefeated in five pool matches. Daria Schneider (New York, N.Y.), ibtihaj Muhammad and Monica Aksamit also won all five pool matches to automatically qualify for Saturday.

Some had to fight a little harder for the right to compete on Saturday. Sean Buckley won two of six bouts in pool play before defeating fellow American Andrew Fischl, 15-10, for the last spot in the table of 64. The reward is the chance to oppose world top-seeded Nicolas Limbach of Germany. Diamond Wheeler won two of five pool matches before upsetting Mika Kumagi of Japan, 15-5, to earn the 63rd seed and a shot at American and two-time Olympic gold medalist Zagunis.

Women’s foil begins Saturday and showcases some of the best young American fencers. Seventeen-year-old hometown prodigy and world No. 20 Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) could potentially face a three-time Olympian in Gruchala, ranked 8th. The future is bright for 18-year-old Ambika Singh (Skillman, N.J.) and 21-year-old Nicole Ross (New York, N.Y.), both ranked in the top-40.

The World Cup marks the first international competition in New York City since 2004. The fencers will look to reach their peak in Brooklyn as it is one of the last international events before the World Championships in Paris, Nov. 4-13. Beijing silver medalists and siblings, Keeth and Erinn Smart will offer on-site analysis.

Many of the competitors will be available to the media for interviews and photographs. Click HERE to download complete Day One results.

About U.S. Fencing Association: The United States Fencing Association (USFA) is the recognized NGB for the sport of fencing in the United States. The USFA was founded in 1891 as the Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) by a group of New York fencers seeking independence from the Amateur Athletic Union. The AFLA changed its name to the United States Fencing Association in 1981. The USFA is affiliated with the Féderation Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international federation for fencing founded in Paris in 1913. The USFA was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Pennsylvania in 1964 and in Colorado in 1993 in compliance with the Amateur Sports Act and opened its national office at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. in August of 1982. For more visit, or

About the Fencers Club of New York: The Fencers Club of New York is a nonprofit organization founded in 1883, making it the oldest fencing institution in the country. The club has a long history of developing talented international-level athletes while also providing a number of fencing- and academic- related community service programs throughout the city. The Fencers Club has sent its athletes to some of the best colleges and universities in the country, and fencing has a particularly distinguished and successful record in the New York community. The six Beijing medalists from New York were all fencers.

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