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Team USA Wins Women’s Foil Gold, Men’s Saber Bronze

04/12/2014, 10:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Women's foil podium. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

Lee Kiefer anchored Team USA to its semifinal win against Italy. Photo Credit: Devin Manky

(Colorado Sp1rings, Colo.) – Team USA won gold in women’s foil and bronze in men’s saber on Thursday at the Junior World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

After three years of consecutive silver medal finishes, the U.S. Women’s Foil Team broke through to win its first Junior World Championship title since 2009.

The win is the second gold medal of the week for London Olympian Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) who also won gold in the individual competition on Monday.

Fencing with teammates Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.), Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.) and Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), Kiefer and Team USA defeated Hungary, 45-21, in the table of 16 and Poland, 45-11, in the quarter-finals.

The wins set the Americans up for a match against Italy that would be the semifinal rather than the gold medal final that has occurred during the last three years.

In one of the best rivalries in junior fencing, the U.S. Women’s Foil Team has fenced Italy for gold at each of the last three Junior Worlds and the Italians have won the title each year. The last time the U.S. women stood on the top of the podium was at the 2009 Junior Worlds – Kiefer’s first year on the squad.

Although Massialas had anchored in the previous rounds, Kiefer stepped into the role for the final bout against Italy with a two-touch lead at 36-34. Fencing 2013 Junior World Champion Camilla Mancini (ITA), Kiefer had the opportunity not only to secure a medal for Team USA, but also to avenge her loss in the 2013 Junior World semifinals to Mancini who went on to take gold.

Kiefer held her two-touch lead for the first two and a half minutes of the bout and finished with three straight to win the match, 45-40, and send Team USA into the finals.

In the finals, the Americans led by as many as 20 touches against Russia and Massialas closed out the win, 42-24, for the Americans, marking the second team Junior World Team gold medal ever won by the United States.

The U.S. Men’s Saber Team arrived in Plovdiv determined to improve upon the squad’s fourth place finish in 2013.

The U.S. team of Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.), Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Gabe Armijo (Chandler, Ariz.) was seeded third in the tournament and earned a bye through the table of 32.  

Team USA defeated Kazakhstan, 45-19, in the table of 16 and built a six-touch lead over France, 40-33, going into the final bout of the quarter-finals. Anchoring for Team USA, Dershwitz outscored Maxence Lambert (FRA), 5-3, for a 45-38 win.

In the semifinals, Team USA won or tied the first eight bouts, but Dmitriy Danilenko finished the match for Russia, 45-41.

The Americans built an 18-touch lead in the bronze medal final and Dershwitz closed the match with a 5-5 tie against Fares Arfa to win the match, 45-27.

The win is the first team medal for the U.S. men’s saber squad since 2010.

Top eight results are as follows:

Junior Women’s Team Foil World Championships
1. USA

2. Russia
3. Italy
4. China
5. Poland
6. Japan
7. France
8. Canada

Junior Men’s Team Saber World Championships
1. Italy
2. Russia
3. USA
4. Canada
5. Ukraine
6. France
7. Germany
8. Romania

Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz  Jackie Dubrovich  Lee Kiefer  Margaret Lu