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Team USA Begins Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing on Sunday

08/16/2014, 9:45am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Youth Olympians Kasia Nixon, Justin Yoo, Karol Metryka, George Haglund and Sabrina Massialas with Coach Marcos Lucchetti.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Fencing Team will feature five Cadet World medalists when competition begins at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing China on Sunday.

Selected based on their results at the Cadet World Championships in April, Team USA’s fencers are part of a 92-member U.S. delegation that includes athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 who are competing in 22 different sports.

Each individual event will be held in one day, beginning with pool rounds and concluding with the gold medal finals.

Sunday will kick off with the women’s foil and men’s saber events and Team USA will be represented by Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) and Karol Metryka (Linden, N.J.)

The younger sister of 2012 Olympian Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), Sabrina is hoping to follow her brother’s silver at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games with a gold of her own. Coached by her father, three-time Olympian Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), Sabrina won silver medals at the last two Cadet World Championships and anchored Team USA to a gold at the Junior Worlds. This will be the third international event of the summer for Sabrina who won gold in the team competition at the Senior Pan Am Championships in Costa Rica in June and fenced at her first Senior Worlds last month in Russia. Massialas will face a tough field that includes 2014 Cadet World Champion Marta Martyanova (RUS) as well as bronze medalists Flora Pasztor (HUN) and Claudia Borella (ITA).

Two months after winning his first Junior Olympic Fencing Championship title, Metryka took bronze in his debut at the Cadet World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Although 2013-2014 was just his second season on the international circuit, Metryka won international medals out of four total events. Three of Metryka’s 2014 Cadet World opponents will be back in action in China. Metryka’s table of 32 and quarter-final opponents – Pietro Jose Di Martino (ARG) and Dongju Kim (KOR), respectively – will each be back for a another shot against Metryka who will be looking to avenge his lone loss at the Cadet Worlds to eventual silver medalist Marios Giakoumatos (GRE). Russian Ivan Ilyin is the reigning Cadet World Champion and will be the one to watch at the Youth Olympic Games.

On Monday, the men’s and women’s epee fencers will take the stage.

Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.) made history in Plovdiv when he became the first U.S. man to win individual epee medals in both the cadet and junior events at the same World Championships. At the Youth Olympic Games, Yoo will be looking for a rematch against Patrik Esztergalyos (HUN) who defeated the American in the gold medal final. Cadet World bronze medalist Dylan French (CAN) and Linus Islas Flygare (SWE), the No. 2-ranked fencer in the Cadet European standings.

Fencing at her second Cadet Worlds, Yoo’s teammate, Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.), came home with a bronze after a season that included a gold medal at the Gothenburg Cadet European Cup. This time, Nixon will face a field loaded will all of the top five finishers from Plovdiv, including gold medalist Eleonora De Marchi (ITA), silver medalist Kinga Nagy (HUN) and bronze medalist Asa Linde (SWE).

Team USA will conclude the individual event on Tuesday with George Haglund (Califon, N.J.) fencing in the men’s foil event. Haglund is hoping to build off his momentum from the cadet season where he won his final Cadet European Cup of the year in Pisa in January and took silver at the Cadet Worlds in April. The reigning Cadet World Champion is Andrzej Rzadkowski who won Poland its first men’s foil Cadet World title in an event that is often controlled by Italy, the United States and Russia, among others. Cadet World bronze medalists Guillaume Bianchi (ITA) and Enguerrand Roger (FRA) could be top challengers for gold as well.

In a unique format, a one-day mixed weapon team event will take place on Wednesday with athletes selected for the continental squads based on their results in the individual competition.

Results will be updated live at

Tag(s): News  Sabrina Massialas