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Zagunis and Homer Place in Top Eight at the Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup

05/05/2013, 7:15am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Daryl Homer goes airborne in his table of 32 bout against Francois Regent (FRA). Photo Credit: Ross Dettman Photography

(Chicago, Ill.) – London Olympic teammates Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) and Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) both earned top eight results on Saturday in the individual competition at the Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Zagunis came into the tournament with five straight international podium finishes to start the season and a silver medal at the 2012 edition of the tournament named in honor of her coach, Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.)

Seeded #2 in the tournament, Zagunis defeated her U.S. teammate, 2009 Cadet World medalist Nicole Glon (State College, Pa.), 15-5, in the table of 64.

In the table of 32, Italian Loreta Gulotta got within a touch of Zagunis when she closed the gap to 8-7 in the second period, but Zagunis rattled off five straight touches and gave up just one to win the bout, 15-8.

Although Zagunis edged two-time Senior World Team Champion Ekaterina Dyachenko (RUS), 15-14, during their previous two bouts this season, she left no room for error in the table of 16 where she led start to finish to take the win, 15-9.

Zagunis met three-time Senior World Team Champion Dina Galiakbarova (RUS) in the quarter-finals – their third match-up this season. While the two split their previous bouts, Galiakbarova took a 10-5 lead in the second period and Zagunis made a comeback, but couldn’t make up the difference in time and lost the bout, 15-12, to finish sixth.

Two of Zagunis’s teammates advanced to the table of 16.

Two-time Senior World Team medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.) placed 11th. Muhammad defeated Sandra Sassine (CAN), 15-7, in the table of 64 and fenced her younger sister Faizah Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.), in the table of 32. With the score tied at 11 in the second period, Ibtihaj scored four unanswered touches to win the bout, 15-11.

In the table of 16, 2013 Junior World Champion Alina Komashchuk (UKR) led Muhammad, by six touches (10-4) in the second period. Muhammad fought back to tie the bout at 14, but lost by a touch at 15-14. Komashchuk, who would go on to win the silver medal, also defeated London Olympian Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) by a 15-7 margin in the table of 32.

Sixteen-year-old Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.), who trains with Zagunis in Portland, upset fourth-ranked Aleksandra Socha (POL) in the table of 64, 15-7. Palmedo, who won gold in the team event at the Junior World Championships last month, faced Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) in the table of 32. In a bout that could impact who qualifies for the 2013 Senior World Team as Stone is ranked fourth in the nation and Palmedo is fifth, Stone led for much of the bout, but Palmedo earned a tie at 11 and again at 13. Palmedo scored a touch which Stone answered to tie the bout at 14, but Palmedo finished the win, 15-14.

Palmedo was the second American opponent of the day for Stone who defeated 2009 Senior World Team member Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.) in the table of 64. Stone led the bout, 8-3, at the break and went on to take the victory, 15-8.

Palmedo’s teammate on the Junior World Championship Team, Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.), advanced to the table of 32 for the first time after competing in just four World Cups since she began fencing internationally last season. Jarocki upset five-time Senior World medalist Ilaria Bianco (ITA), 15-14, in the table of 64 and held teammate Fei Li (CHN) to a 5-5 tie in the next round, but Li pulled ahead to take an 8-6 lead at the break and a 15-12 win.

Two-time Senior World Team medalist Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.) defeated Sevinj Bunyatova (AZE), 15-7, in the table of 64, but lost to Dyachenko, 15-10, in the next round.

Junior Pan American medalist Emma Keehan (Chandler, Ariz.) was eliminated by Min Xia (CHN), 15-10, in the table of 64.

Kamali Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) advanced to the table of 64 at this event for the third straight year, but lost to Rajin Lee (KOR), 15-6.

Fencing in her hometown, Alison Miller (Chicago, Ill.) also qualified for the table of 64, but lost to 2012 Olympic Champion Jiyeon Kim (KOR).

In the men’s competition, Homer’s top-10 world ranking pitted him against his friend and teammate at the Manhattan Fencing Center, Aleksander Ochocki (Linden, N.J.), in the table of 64. With Homer seeking to close out the bout at 14-7, Ochocki scored three straight touches, but Homer took the final score and the bout, 15-10.

Homer’s table of 32 opponent, Francois Regent (FRA), kept the bout close with a tie at 11, but Homer scored four of the next five touches and won the bout, 15-14.

Although Tiberiu Dolniceanu (ROU) won a team silver medal in London, it was Homer who shut him out of the individual podium when he won their bout in the table of 32 last summer. This time, Dolniceanu led the bout by three touches, including a red card for Homer, during the first half. Dolniceanu sustained an injury on the eighth touch, however, and requested an injury timeout. Althugh the Romanian returned to the bout, it was Homer who built a 14-12 lead. Dolniceanu was given a red card on the final exchange came away with a 15-12 win.

Fencing in the quarter-finals for the third time this season, Homer drew Aron Szilagyi (HUN) – the 2012 Olympic Champion who has won or medaled in all but one international event this season. Szilagyi took an 8-2 lead at the half and, although Homer scored six touches in the second period, the Hungarian won the bout, 15-8.

Homer’s sixth-place finish was the top result for the U.S. Men’s Saber Team.

Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), a bronze medalist at the Junior Worlds last month, advanced to the table of 32 at his third Senior World Cup competition. Dershwitz defeated Csaba Norbert Gall (HUN), 15-12, in the table of 64, but lost to Dolniceanu, 15-11, in the 32.

In addition to Ochocki, four U.S. men were eliminated in the table of 32.

London Olympian Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) was outtouched by Fernando Casares (ESP), 15-14.

Three-time Senior World Team member Ben Igoe (Staten Island, N.Y.) also lost a 15-14 bout as he was eliminated by Marco Ciari (ITA).

Evan Prochniak (Hudson, N.H.), a two-time Junior World Team member, lost in the table of 64 to Benedikt Wagner (GER) who went on to take bronze.

Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.), a 2013 Cadet World Team member, advanced to the table of 64 at his first Senior World Cup, but lost to Maximillian Kindler (GER), 15-9.

Competition continues on Sunday with the team events.

Zagunis, Stone, Wozniak and Muhammad will attempt to defend their 2012 gold medal at this event on the women’s side and Homer, Igoe, Spear and Ochocki will represent Team USA for the men.

Competition schedule is as follows:

Sunday, May 5 (Flames Athletic Center)
8:20 a.m.
Women’s Team Direct Elimination Tables

Men’s Team Direct Elimination Tables

6 p.m.
Men’s and Women’s Bronze and Gold Medal Matches

Medal matches will be streamed live at

For complete results, visit

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows, including athletes who placed outside the top 64 on Friday:

Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty Women’s Individual World Cup
1. Jiyeon Kim (KOR)
2. Alina Komashchuk (UKR)
3. Dina Galiakbarova (RUS)
3. Yana Egorian (RUS)
5. Olga Kharlan (UKR)
6. Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
7. Rajin Lee (KOR)
8. Azza Besbes (TUN)

11. Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.)
16. Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.)
17. Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
19. Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.)
21. Faizah Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.)
23. Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
31. Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.)
45. Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.)
48. Emma Keehan (Chandler, Ariz.)
56. Kamali Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.)
62. Alison Miller (Chicago, Ill.)
64. Nicole Glon (State College, Pa.)

Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty Men’s Individual World Cup
1. Matyas Szabo (GER)
2. Aron Szilagyi (HUN)
3. Benedikt Wagner (GER)
3. Luigi Samele (ITA)
5. Diego Occhiuzzi (ITA)
6. Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.)
7. Eunseok Oh (KOR)
8. Riccardo Nuccio (ITA)

24. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
45. Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)
46. Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.)
49. Ben Igoe (Staten Island, N.Y.)
56. Aleksander Ochocki (Linden, N.J.)
59. Evan Prochniak (Hudson, N.H.)
74. Samuel Austin (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
75T. Michael Costin (Culver, Calif.)
75T. Benjamin Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.)
77. Jeffrey Dalli (San Carlos, Calif.)
78. Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md.)
79. Gabe Armijo (San Diego, Calif.)
85T. Sean Buckley (Secaucus, N.J.)
87. Marty Williams (Plainfield, N.J.)
89. Matthew Zich (New York City, N.Y.)
99. John Hallsten (Sacramento, Calif.)
102. Christofer Ahn (Houston, Texas)
106. Vincent Argenzio (Revere, Mass.)
107. Christopher Monti (Cary, Ill.)
108. Thomas Kolasa (Princeton, N.J.)
109. Calvin Liang (Phoenix, Ariz.)
117. Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)
119. Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.)
120. Bartosz Pukal (Evanston, Ill.)
124. Andrew Fischl (Huntington, N.Y.)
131. Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
133. Donovan Deans (Tempe, Ariz.)
141. Ameen Borojerdi (Plantation, Fla.)
143T. Edward Chin (Livingston, N.J.)
149. Benjamin Marcus (Staten Island, N.Y.)
155. Evangelos Efstathiou (Cambridge, Mass.)

Tag(s): News  Daryl Homer  Ibtihaj Muhammad  Dagmara Wozniak  Mariel Zagunis  Eliza Stone