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Dershwitz Wins Gold, Russo Takes Silver at Budapest Saber Junior World Cup

02/17/2014, 2:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Eli Dershwitz (second from left) won gold in Budapest.

Francesca Russo won silver in the women's competition in Budapest.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA’s saber fencers advanced to both the men’s and women’s finals of the Budapest Saber Junior World Cup on Sunday as Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) won gold in the men’s event and Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) took silver in the women’s competition. 

Dershwitz, the No. 2-ranked junior saber fencer in the world, dropped one bout in pools, but still earned a bye into the table of 64.

In the direct elimination rounds, Derhswitz won his first two bouts by 15-6 scores over Balint Kossuth (HUN) and Tom Moeller (GER).

After a 15-8 win over Eugenio Castello (ITA) in the 16, Dershwitz defeated Edern Annic (FRA) in the quarter-finals to secure his fourth Junior World Cup medal of the season.

Dershwitz claimed 15-11 victories in his final two bouts against Mate Bancsics (HUN) and junior world No. 3 Luca Curatoli (ITA) to earn his third Junior World Cup title of the season.

The win means Dershwitz is expected to enter the Junior World Championships in April as the No. 2 seed. A two-time Junior World medalist, Dershwitz is aiming to win gold at this year’s competition in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Although Dershwitz and 2012 Cadet World medalist Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.) each had earned enough ranking points to qualify for the 2014 Junior World Team earlier this season, the final individual position on the squad remained open at the start of the tournament in Hungary which served as the final selection event for the junior men’s saber squad.

That spot will be claimed by Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.), a 2013 Junior World Team member who began the weekend as the third athlete in the USA Fencing National Team Point Standings and secured his position by advancing to the table of 32.

Loss missed out on the 16 by a single touch to Alexander Trushakov (RUS), but the 22nd place result kept him as the third athlete in the U.S. rankings.

Gabriel Armijo (San Diego, Calif.) and 2013 Junior World Team member Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.) both had hopes of qualifying at the start of the tournament, but Armijo lost in the table of 32 and Streets in the 16 which left them as the fourth and fifth athletes in the rankings, respectively.

On the women’s side, Russo, a 2013 Junior World Team Champion, improved her chances of qualifying for a fourth straight Junior World Team with her silver medal finish.

Seeded second out of the pools, Russo opened with a bye into the table of 64 where she defeated Noemi Kiefer (LUX), 15-3.

Russo defeated Camilla Fondi (ITA) and Larissa Eifler (GER) each by 15-6 scores to advance to the quarter-finals where she fenced Gracie Stone (Chicago, Ill.) – a two-time Junior World Cup medalist who is ranked second in the United States could be Russo’s teammate in Bulgaria.

Russo won the bout against Stone, 15-7, and defeated Eloisa Passaro (ITA), 15-10, in the semis.

In the gold medal final, Russo lost her bout to Chiara Mormile (ITA), 15-6, but finished the day with a silver medal – her first Junior World Cup podium finish since 2012.

The Junior Women’s Saber World Team will not be finalized until the conclusion of the Gent Senior World Cup in Belgium next weekend.  

Russo is scheduled to fence in Gent along with several other junior saber fencers, including Lena Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.), Sophie Keehan (Chandler, Ariz.) and Emma Keehan (Chandler, Ariz.) who are each still in contention for positions on the team.

Click here to view complete men’s results.

Click here to view complete women’s results.

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

Budapest Men’s Saber Junior World Cup
1. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)

2. Luca Curatoli (ITA)
3. Leonardo Affede (ITA)
3. Mate Bancsics (HUN)
5. Edern Annic (FRA)
6. Francesco Bonsanto (ITA)
7. Alexander Trushakov (RUS)
8. Benno Schneider (GER)

10. Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.)
13. Julian Merchant (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
20. Gabriel Armijo (San Diego, Calif.)
21. Benjamin Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.)
22. Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
44. Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)

Budapest Women’s Saber Junior World Cup
1. Chiara Mormile (ITA)
2. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
3. Valeria Bolshakova (RUS)
3. Eloisa Passaro (ITA)
5. Yana Obvintseva (RUS)
6. Anna Bashta (RUS)
7. Karolina Cieslar (POL)
8. Gracie Stone (Chicago, Ill.)

25. Sophie Keehan (Chandler, Ariz.)
38. Lena Johnson (Peachtree City, Ariz.)
68. Rachel Aho (Wellesley, Mass.)

Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz