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Zagunis to Return to Domestic Competition at the October NAC

10/07/2014, 11:45am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Mariel Zagunis won gold in team and silver in the individual event at the 2014 Senior Worlds. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For the first time in more than seven years, two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) will fence on the North American Cup circuit when she takes the strip on Friday in her hometown of Portland, Ore.

The No. 2-ranked women’s saber fencer in the world and five-time Senior World Champion will be in action at the October North American Cup at the Oregon Convention Center on Friday afternoon.

Preliminary competition will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. with semifinals at approximately 4:30 p.m.

For Zagunis, the opportunity to compete in front of a hometown audience is a rare one as her last event in Portland was the 2008 USA Fencing National Championships which took place just months before Zagunis claimed her second Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Games.

“I am really happy that this Div I competition is coming back to my hometown. I am excited to be competing in this NAC mainly so all of my friends and family who have always been so supportive will have the chance to watch me compete in a high level national competition,” Zagunis said.

The tournament will serve as a tune-up event for Zagunis and her teammates who will return to the international circuit on Nov. 1 for the San Juan de los Morros World Cup in Venezuela.

“Because our World Cup season is starting three months earlier than usual, this will be a great warm up competition for the start of our season. It works out perfectly for me because I will be able to compete with a lot of high level fencers but not have to travel a long way to do so,” Zagunis said. “Our off season was really short – almost nonexistent – after the World Championships in July so this tournament will really help to get my mind and body back in competition mode.”

Zagunis will face tough competition in Portland with 109 athletes scheduled to fence in the Division I women’s saber event. Her opposition will include Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) who won gold with Zagunis at the 2014 Senior Worlds; two-time Senior World team bronze medalist Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.); and 2013 Junior World Team Champions Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) and Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) – the latter of whom trains with Zagunis at the Oregon Fencing Alliance.

Competition at the October North American Cup will begin on Friday with events running through Monday. All events are free and open to the public. 

Tag(s): News  Mariel Zagunis