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Justin Yoo Wins Bronze, Makes Epee History at Junior Worlds

04/09/2014, 7:00am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Justin Yoo (second from right) on the podium after his bronze medal men's epee win. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

Justin Yoo. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Just three days after winning silver at his first Cadet World Championships, Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.) was back on the podium with a bronze in the junior event in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on Tuesday.

Yoo’s double medal results make him the first U.S. epee fencer ever to win individual medals at both the Junior and Cadet Worlds in the same year.

While Yoo earned the top seed when he fenced in the cadet competition, the junior event would be a different tale as a No. 70 ranking out of pools meant that the American would have no advantages in the direct elimination bouts.

In fact, only five other fencers had lower seeds in the table of 32, but that didn’t appear to bother Yoo who won his table of 32 bout against Nicholas Beaumont (FRA), 15-9, and advanced to the quarter-finals after a 15-13 victory over Cristian Sanchez (VEN).

Yoo fenced a cautious first period against Dongdong Sun (CHN) in the quarter-finals where he built a 5-3 lead. In the second period, however, Yoo gave up just one single to Sun and went on a 10-3 run to win the bout, 15-6.

In the evening semifinal, Yoo’s bout against Byeungchan Jung (KOR) was tied at five after the first period, but Jung took a 10-8 lead midway through the second period and finished with five straight touches for a 15-8 victory.

Two members of Team USA’s women’s epee squad fenced on Tuesday as well – 2012 Junior World Team medalist Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas) and 2013 Cadet World Team member Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)

Sirico upset No. 4 seed Anna Kun (HUN), 15-12, in the table of 32 and outtouched 2013 Senior World Team member Pauline Brunner (SUI), 15-13, to advance to the quarters.

In the quarter-finals, Sirico held an 11-9 lead against two-time Junior World bronze medalist Katrina Lehis (EST) late in the final period before Lehis picked up two singles to tie the bout with 18 seconds on the clock. Sirico and Lehis ran down the third period and it was Lehis who scored first in overtime for a 12-11 victory. The Estonian would go on to win gold and Sirico finished eighth.

A top-eight finisher at the 2011 Junior Worlds, Van Brummen came in as the No. 2 seed and needed just over four minutes to defeat Inna Brovko (UKR), 15-9, in the table of 32.

Van Brummen got off to a slow start in the table of 16 as she was outscored, 6-0, early in her bout against Nickol Tal (ISR) and trailed Tal, 9-2, at the first break. Although Van Brummen cut Tal’s lead to five with a score of 13-8 at the end of the second period, she couldn’t make up the lost ground and Tal took the bout, 15-9. Van Brummen finished ninth and Tal went on to win bronze.

In the junior men’s foil and junior women’s saber preliminary rounds, all six U.S. fencers advanced to the table of 32 which will be held on Wednesday.  

Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian and the reigning Junior World Champion, established himself as the one to beat when he outscored his opponents 30-1 in pools to earn the top seed in the men’s foil field. Massialas went on to win his next bout, 15-9, over Kolja Dahlin (DEN) in the table of 64.

First-time Junior World Team member Michael Woo (Wayne, N.J.) also went undefeated in pools to earn the No. 4 seed in the direct elimination tables. Woo dominated his bout against Bogdan Dascalu (ROU) for a 15-2 win.

Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.), a member of the team that won silver at the 2013 Junior Worlds, finished the pools with a 4-1 record and defeated Joshua Ian Lim (SIN), 15-12, in the table of 64.

In the junior women’s saber competition, 2013 Junior World Team Champion Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) went undefeated to earn the No. 3 seed in the tournament. In the table of 32, Palmedo trailed Marta Ruiz De Las Heras (ESP), 11-7, in the second period, but Palmedo finished the bout with eight unanswered touches and a 15-11 victory.

Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.), Palmedo’s teammate on the squad that won gold last year, drew a short pool, but posted a 4-1 result to advance to the table of 64 where she defeated Yuqi Zang (CHN), 15-12.

First-time team member Gracie Stone (Chicago, Ill.) won two of her five pool bouts, but rebounded in the DE tables with a 15-6 win against Chrislyn Jie Ling Tan (SIN) and a 15-11 victory against 10th seeded Iryna Shchukla (UKR).

Visit for complete results.

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

Junior Men’s Epee World Championships
1. Masaru Yamada (JPN)
2. Byeungchan Jung (KOR)
3. Daniel Berta (HUN)
3. Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.)
5. Dylan French (CAN)
6. Yuval Shalom Freilich (ISR)
7. Dongdong Sun (CHN)
8. Antoine Srecki (FRA)

44. Lewis Weiss (Houston, Texas)
89. Joshua Cole (Chappaqua, N.Y.)

Junior Women’s Epee World Championships
1. Katrina Lehis (EST)
2. Reka Bohus (HUN)
3. Roberta Marzani (ITA)
3. Nickol Tal (ISR)
5. Daria Martynyuk (RUS)
6. Victoria Kuzmenkova (RUS)
7. Jagoda Zagala (POL)
8. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)

9. Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
41. Nina Van Loon (Boulder, Colo.)

Tag(s): News  Anna van Brummen  Sage Palmedo