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2009 Fencing World Championships

10/03/2009, 6:02am CDT
By No Author

U.S. comeback falls short as Italy, Ukraine win team titles
by Craig Harkins

Gerek Meinhardt came just one touch short in a dramatic comeback in the U.S. men's foil team's top-16 match against No. 8 seed Japan on Tuesday. Read More

Zagunis captures "Grand Slam" of Fencing.   (October 3rd - Antalya, Turkey)
by Kurt Aichele

Live coverage and photos from Antalya         Video of Zagunis Win

Day of the final individual competitions began this morning.  Though all four (4) of the US Women's Sabre Team qualified into the top-64, they ended up in the same bracket meaning that only 1 could make it into the top 8.  2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mariel Zagunis started the day off defeating Korea, followed by Daria Schneider who defeated Poland.  Then Wozniak & Aksamit went head to head.  Daga started with a 7-3 lead, but they then were tied at 14 where Aksamit suffered a injury to her right hand.  She managed to keep Daga at bay to advance into the top-32 where she would meet Schneider.  In the 32, Zagunis easily defeated Bunyatova from Azerbaijan to advance to the 16.  Schneider, a junior at Columbia followed Daga's example pulling quickly to a 7-3 lead over Aksamit, however this time Aksamit could not recover, losing to Schneider 15-11.  About the experience, Aksamit said, "it's disappointing to travel all the way to Turkey to compete against your teammates, but that's the way it goes sometimes."  Schneider advanced into the 16 to face Zagunis, where she lost 15-5. 


Zagunis continued on, defeating women from the Ukraine, France, and then earned her place as the World Champion for Women's Sabre by easily defeating Olga Kharlan also from the Ukraine 15-6.  Though there's no "Grand Slam" recognized by the FIE, the International Fencing Federation, she has done what no other woman has ever done in Women's Sabre - won EVERY major championship.  Her coach, Ed Korfanty commented, "now she's achieved it all...two times gold medalist in the Olympics, gold medalist in Jr. Worlds, Pan American's, and now Senior Worlds Champion." 

The record setting day was not reserved for the Women's Sabre team though.  All four of the Men's Foil Team also competed this afternoon etching their mark in the history books as well.  For the first time since anyone could remember, two men made it into the top 16.  Gerek Meinhardt from Notre Dame, and Kurt Getz, a junior at Columbia, each overcame a defecit to advance into the 32.  Meinhardt was down 9-3 in the middle of the first period, but gained good ground narrow the lead to two by the end of the 1st.  One of the most agile members of the US team, he tied the bout at 12's, and finished ahead of the Romanian 15-13.  In the 16, Meinhardt lost to Baldini, who went on to be crowned the World Champion.

Getz had quite the expereince.  Against Korea, he was down 5-4 scored 5 unanswered points to change the momentum of the match.  Soon afterwards, tied at 14, Getz challenged a call that would have given the Korean the victory.  The touch was in fact off-target, giving Getz another chance where he scored the winning touch.  He went on to face Kruse from Great Britian but suffered from cramps in his forearm while tied at 9's.  He finally took the lead at 12 and finished ahead of the Brit 15-13.  In the 8, he faced Zhu from China.  Due to injuries and equipment failures, the bout lasted more than 50 minutes but ended up losing 15-5.  Zhu went on to defeat the reigning Olympic gold medalist from Germany, and took Silver in the competition.

Unfortunately, Alexander Massialis, the youngest member of the team at 15 yrs. was not able to hold on to a 10-2 lead against a seasoned Competitor from the Ukraine, and Watson lost a tough bout 15-11.  Both commented on focusing on the team competition which will begin on Tuesday.


US Fencers Enjoy Continued Success a 2009 Fencing World Championships, Lee Kiefer Rolls!

Live coverage and photos from Antalya

ANTALYA, Turkey (October 1, 2009) - The action continued on Thursday at The2009 Fencing World Championships in Antalya, Turkey, with preliminary-round matches in the women’s foil and men’s epee disciplines.

Six of the eight U.S. fencers competing in epee and foil advanced from the qualification rounds to Sunday's direct elimination finals of 64 fencers.

In women’s foil, all four American’s had to compete in the preliminary rounds, each advancing to Sunday's elimination table.  Ambika Singh, Nzingha Prescod and Lee Kiefer won in their preliminary pool matches to advance to the top 64.  Kiefer, only 15 years of age, provided an astonishing performance in just her second senior competition going undefeated in the pools.  2008 Olympian Doris Willette, faced an elimination bout in order to qualify, she won 12-6. Willette and will face off against Italian Granbassi on Sunday.

In men's epee, the U.S. fencers felt the heat of a highly competitive division. Benjamin Bratton won his bouts and advanced directly to Sunday's elimination rounds. Eric Hansen won only once and failed to qualify. Cody Mattern won one qualification match (15-4) but was turned away by Poland's Krzysztof Mikolajczak, 15-10. 2008 Olympian Seth Kelsey had a bye into Sunday's elimination round.

More To Come.

US Fencers Continue to Shine on the World Stage.

ANTALYA, Turkey (Sept. 30, 2009) - All 8 US Fencers advanced to the Top-64 on the first day of the 2009 Fencing World Championships in Antalya, Turkey.

In women's saber Mariel Zagunis and Monica Aksamit had byes to Saturday's direct elimination rounds. Daria Schneider and Dagmara Wozniak qualified directly out of pools.  Both Schneider and Wozniak went 3-2 in pools to advance to the final of 64. Unfortunately, the US women find themselves all in the same section of the bracket, so only one US woman has a chance to make the top-8. Aksamit and Wozniak fence in the round of 64 with the potential for the winner of that match to face Schneider in the round of 32.

In men's foil Kurt Getz and Gerek Meinhardt had byes. Miles Chamley-Watson (4-2) and Alex Massialas (4-1) each qualified directly from pools.

The competition continues on today with the preliminaries of women’s foil and men’s epee.

More to come.

Click here for live coverage of the 2009 Fencing World Championships

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