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Team USA Wins Three Medals at Klagenfurt Epee Cadet European Cup

10/27/2013, 12:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Gold medalists Saanchi Kukadia, Farrah Lee-Elabd, Camille Esnault and Coach Lauren Willock. Photo Credit: Nina Lee

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The reigning Junior Olympic Champion in cadet men’s epee, Clinton Rodell (Annandale, Va.), won his first international medal on Saturday when he took bronze at the Klagenfurt Cadet European Cup in Austria.

The 16-year-old had a slow start in the direct elimination tables where he narrowly defeated his U.S. teammates, Connor Ghazaleh (Winchest, Mass.) and Wesley Johnson (Pleasant View, Utah), by 15-13 scores in the table of 128 and 64, respectively.

Rodell regrouped in the table of 32 where he gave up just four touches to Pavel Dubouski (BLR) in a 15-4 win and went on to qualify for the quarter-finals at his first international tournament after a 15-9 victory over Nicusor Florian Florea (ROU).

In the quarter-finals, Rodell defeated teammate Zachary Zeller (Henderson, Nev.), 15-11, to secure Team USA’s first medal of the international season in epee.

Rodell fell two touches short of qualifying for the finals when he lost his semifinal bout to Adrian Dabija (ROU) who went on to take gold and move into the #2 position in the Cadet European Rankings.

Rodell’s finish earned him Team USA’s highest position in the new Cadet European Rankings where he is currently 19th – the highest ranking for any fencer making an international debut this season.

The win also moves Rodell into the #2 cadet men’s epee ranking in the United States behind Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.) who won gold at three North American Cups this year and bronze at the Gothenburg Cadet European Cup in February.

Five teams of U.S. women competed in the team event with USA 3 winning gold and USA 2 taking bronze.

Fencing for USA 3, Camille Esnault (Cupertino, Calif.), Farrah Lee-Elabd (San Antonio, Texas) and Saanchi Kukadia (Manhasset, N.Y.) defeated Ukraine 2, 45-43, in the table of 16 and won their bout against Serbia, 45-38, in the quarters.

The semifinals were a battle between two American squads as USA 3 took on the USA 2 team of Charlene Liu (Bridgewater, N.J.), Belinda Mo (Irvine, Calif.) and Amanda Han (Las Vegas, Nev.)

USA 3 pulled off a 45-38 upset over their American teammates who placed third after Great Britain withdrew from the bronze medal match.

The gold medal final came down to the last touches, but USA 3 defeated Romania, 45-43.

After a bye into the quarter-finals, the USA 1 squad of Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.), Madeline Antekeier (Houston, Texas) and Giana Vierheller (Houston, Texas) lost to their teammates from USA 2, 37-32. The trio then fenced USA 5 and defeated Alexandria Micek (Houston, Texas), Brooke Sirico (Bowie, Md.) and Samantha Doro (Arlington Heights, Ill.) to place fifth.

USA 4 finished in 10th place. Elise Gout (Encinitas, Calif.), Barbara VanBenthuysen (The Woodlands, Texas) and Dariya Yefremenko (Manalapan, N.J.) lost to Romania, 43-39.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Klagenfurt Men’s Individual Cadet European Cup
1. Adrian Dabija (ROU)
2. Gergely Siklosi (HUN)
3. Jakub Jurka (CZE)
3. Clinton Rodell (Annandale, Va.)
5. Elia Dagani (SUI)
6. Zachary Zeller (Henderson, Nev.)
7. Frederik Weber (SUI)
8. Clement Metrailler (SUI)

10. Jack Bradford (Boulder, Colo.)
13. Michael Popovici (Katy, Texas)
15. Nicolas Wilson (Houston, Texas)
16. Leonard Behrens (Cincinnati, Ohio)
22. Charles Horowitz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
23. Esteban Sanchez (League City, Texas)
27. Joshua Cole (Chappaqua, N.Y.)
33. Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.)
36. Darius Zacharakis (Houston, Texas)
37. Robin Cheong (San Antonio, Texas)
40. Wesley Johnson (Pleasant View, Utah)
41. Jason Xu (Prospect, Ky.)
42. Gabriel Weininger (Northbrook, Ill.)
44. Isaac Shelanski (Washington, D.C.)
50. Sean Wilson (Houston, Texas)
83. Jonathan Xu (Prospect, Ky.)
85. Nicholas Campbell-Kruger (Boulder, Colo.)
89. Connor Ghazaleh (Winchester, Mass.)

Klagenfurt Women’s Team Cadet European Cup
1. USA 3
2. Romania
3. USA 2
4. Great Britain
5. USA 1
6. USA 5

7. Serbia
8. Austria 1

10. USA 4

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