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Team USA Concludes Junior Worlds with Women’s Saber Gold and Men’s Foil Silver

04/16/2013, 7:00am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Junior World Champions Adrienne Jarocki, Sage Palmedo, Skyla Powers and Francesca Russo. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

The U.S. Men's Foil Team won silver at the Junior Worlds on Sunday. (L-R): Nobuo Bravo, Brian Kaneshige, Coach Greg Massialas, Alexander Massialas and Race Imboden. Photo credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – After winning medals in the individual event, Junior World Champion Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)  and silver medalist Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.) led the men's foil and women's saber teams back to the finals on Monday at the Junior World Championships in Porec, Croatia. 

Team USA’s final two medals of the Junior and Cadet World Championships gave the United States 10 medals total and moved the Americans ahead of Russia in the medal table for a second-place finish behind Italy.

The U.S. Women’s Saber Team’s gold medal win is the first podium finish at the Junior Worlds since 2008 and the first Championship win for the squad since 2006 when Olympians Becca Ward (Durham, N.C.) and Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) led Team USA to its last title.

On the heels of a silver medal win in the individual competition by Jarocki, a first-time team member, and top-16 finishes by Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) and Skyla Powers (Decatur, Ga.), the U.S. squad earned a #1 seed in the team event. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.), a three-time Junior World Team member and 2012 Cadet World medalist, brought additional experience to the team as its fourth member.

Team USA took victories in seven of nine bouts against Spain in the table of 16 with all four athletes fencing the match and Jarocki anchoring the Americans to a 45-34 victory.

In the quarter-finals, Jarocki, Russo and Powers took the strip against Mexico – a team that upset Russia in the previous round. Team USA led from start to finish to take the win, 45-34.

Going into the final two bouts in the semifinals, Team USA led by Poland by a single touch, 35-34, after Russo’s bout with Kinga Drozdz. Palmedo was subbed into the eighth bout where she defeated Angelika Wator, 5-2, to give Team USA a 40-36 lead. Jarocki outscored Karolina Walczak, 5-4, to send Team USA into the gold medal final against France – the reigning Junior World Champions.

Fencing in the gold medal final for the second time this week, Jarocki opened the match for Team USA and against Manon Brunet who finished sixth in the individual event. Brunet jumped out to 3-0 lead at the start of the bout. Jarocki scored three, but Brunet took the bout, 5-3.

France held onto a lead at 10-6 after 2012 Junior World bronze medalist Saoussen Boudiaf defeated Palmedo, 5-3, but Russo changed the tide for the Americans when she scored four straight touches and eight total against Oceane Chery-Emmanuel to give the Americans a 15-14 lead.

Powers was substituted into the fourth bout and defeated Brunet, 5-3, to give the Americans a 20-17 lead.

Chery-Emmanuel took the strip again for France in the fifth bout against Jarocki, determined to avenge her quarter-final loss to Jarocki earlier in this week. Chery Emmanel picked up six straight at the start of their bout and, although Jarocki scored three of her own, France took a 25-23 lead.

Boudiaf took another win for France in the sixth bout against Russo and France pushed the score to 30-27.

Powers scored six straight against Chery-Emmanuel to give Team USA a 35-31 lead and Russo followed with a 5-3 win over Brunet.

The final bout pitted Jarocki, who was fencing in an international team event for just the second time ever and the first time as an anchor against Boudiaf, who secured France’s win over China in 2012.

Calm and steady as always, Jarocki methodically picked off her five touches against Boudiaf to give Team USA the victory, 45-38.

While the women’s saber team came into the Junior Worlds with a young talented squad who was seeking to upset a table of opponents, the men’s foil squad arrived in Porec, Croatia with the lofty vision of becoming the first fencing team of any weapon or gender to win four straight Junior World titles.

Due to 2012 Olympian Alexander Massialas having to fence both his London teammate Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.) on his way to winning gold in the individual event, Team USA was seeded second, but Italy’s top seed still set up the possibility of another showdown between the two powerhouses in the gold medal final.

After a bye into the table of 16, Massialas, Bravo, Imboden and 2011 Junior World Team medalist Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.) dominated their bout against Turkey for a 45-19 victory.

In the quarter-finals, Korea took a 10-3 lead after the first two bouts, but Imboden scored 12 in the third period to give Team USA a 15-12 lead that the Americans held onto as they won the match, 45-33.

Team USA faced Italy in the gold medal final for the fifth time in sixth years. While the Americans won four of those meetings, Italy boasted a lineup that included 2011 Junior World Champion Edoardo Luperi and Lorenzo Nista who finished second behind Massialas this year.

Italy controlled the match and won seven of the nine bouts to win gold by a score of 45-34.  

Top eight results are as follows:

Junior Women’s Team Saber
1. USA

2. France
3. Ukraine
4. Poland
5. Hungary
6. Korea
7. Mexico
8. Canada

Junior Men’s Foil Team
1. Italy
2. USA
3. Russia
5. Great Britain
6. Denmark
7. Korea
8. Hungary

Tag(s): News  Sage Palmedo