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Moelis Wins Foil Cadet World Title, Tourette Takes Bronze

04/02/2015, 10:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Cadet World Champion Sam Moelis and bronze medalist Geoffrey Tourette pose with coaches Dan Kellner, Greg Massialas and Aleksei Murugin. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

Sam Moelis celebrates his Cadet World title. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.) won the first Cadet World title in men’s foil for Team USA since 2011 on Thursday and Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.) added a bronze in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The medals were the first of the tournament for Team USA on its second of nine days of competition.

Both Moelis and Tourette went undefeated in the pool rounds where Moelis took the sixth seed in the direct elimination tables and Tourette was first with both fencers earning byes through the table of 128.

In the 64, Moelis controlled his bout against Janibek Khalmuratov (UZB) for a 14-4 lead after just three minutes and a 15th touch scored after the break.

Moelis and Ryan Ren An Ong (SIN) swapped touches in the 32 with Ong holding a 7-6 lead in the first when Moelis went on a 7-1 run to set the score at 13-8 by the end of the first period. Moelis ended the bout at 15-9 less than 20 seconds into the second.

Moelis qualified for the quarter-finals after he defeated Erik Gabriel Varas (ARG), 15-8, early in the second period.

In the quarters, Moelis fenced another aggressive opening period against Takuma Ito (JPN). Moelis ended the first period at 12-6 and finished the bout at 15-8 to secure a berth to the evening semifinal rounds and guarantee a medal at his first Cadet Worlds.

Tourette opened the direct elimination rounds with a conservative 9-7 first period of his table of 64 bout against Stef Van Campenhout (BEL). Tourette outscored the lefty Belgian, 6-2, in the second for a 15-9 win.

Up 10-7 against Abdulaziz Kh Jahrami (KUW) after the first period of the 32, Tourette scored four straight to open the second period and finished the bout, 15-9.

In the table of 16, Tourette jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Gwansoo Kim (KOR) and finished the first period with a 7-2 lead. Tourette closed the second at 11-5 and ended the bout late in the third at 15-10.

Tourette found himself in the rare position of trailing his opponent, Kenta Suzumura (JPN), who led the bout, 7-6 at the break. Tourette came back in the second where he scored eight straight to open the period and gave up just one touch before winning the round, 15-8, to guarantee a podium finish just a day after his 16th birthday in his Cadet World debut.

In the evening semis, Tourette took center stage against Grigoriy Semenyuk (RUS) who came out with a 5-1 lead early in the first period. Tourette regrouped and tied the bout at 11 late in the final minute. While it looked like both fencers would get a chance to convene with their coaches at the break, the Russian was determined not to let that happen as he went on a 4-1 run in less than 20 seconds to win the bout, 15-12.

At just 16-years-old, Tourette became not only the youngest medalist on the podium, but the youngest fencer in the top eight.

Fencing Tamas Meszaros (HUN) in the second semi, Moelis held a 7-6 lead after the first, but Meszaros caught Moelis and picked up the touches he needed to regain the lead at 11-10 late in the second. Moelis scored to tie the bout and seemed to cause a momentum shift when he scored a 12th touch with 15 seconds on the clock. The call was overturned, however, and Meszaros received the score and a 12-11 lead going into the break. The two fencers felt each other out for the first 30 seconds of the third period before Moelis scored two to regain the lead at 13-12. Meszaros scored once more, but Moelis finished with two for a 15-13 victory.

While Moelis dominated many of his bouts on Thursday, Semenyuk was determined to change that in the finals as he outscored the American, 5-1, in the first minute. Moelis used both of his video challenges in the opening minute, but remained at a four-touch deficit. Undeterred, Moelis fought for a lead with a 7-2 run. Up 8-7, Moelis scored six touches in the next minute to end the first period at 14-12. Both fencers stepped away with five seconds on the clock, but the attacking began instantly in the second with Moelis scoring six seconds into the period to win the bout and the gold medal, 15-12.

Moelis becomes the first U.S. fencer to win a men’s foil title at the Cadet Worlds since 2012 Olympian Alex Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) won back-to-back golds in 2010 and 2011.

Tourette’s gold and bronze finish is also the first time Team USA has had two men’s foil fencers on the podium since 2010 when Massialas won gold and London Olympian Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Moelis’s teammate at Brooklyn Bridge Fencing, won bronze.

Moelis and Tourette’s medals on Thursday make this the fifth time Team USA has reached the men’s foil podium at the Cadet Worlds during the last seven Cadet Worlds.

Moelis will have three additional opportunities to add more medals to his collection as he will fence on Saturday in the cadet mixed team competition as well next week in the junior individual and team events.

In the women’s saber competition, Maia Chamberlain (Menlo Park, Calif.) came to the Cadet Worlds Team USA’s only first-time World Team member on the women’s squad, but the rookie earned a top-eight result in Tashkent.

Chamberlain finished the pool rounds with a 5-1 record and a seventh seed in the direct elimination tables.

After a bye through the table of 64, Yelizaveta Smirnova (KAZ) scored first in their table of 64 bout which Chamberlain answered with four straight touches of her own. Up, 8-5, at the break, Chamberlain went on a 7-2 run and took the bout, 15-7.

In the table of 16, Chamberlain took an 8-4 lead against Logayn Faramawe (EGY) after the first period and shut out the Egyptian in the second for a 15-4 win.

Chamberlain’s quarter-final opponent, 2015 European Cadet Championships silver medalist Alexandra Klimova (RUS), was up, 13-8, in the second period when Chamberlain went on a five-touch run to tie the bout at 13. Klimova put an end to Chamberlain’s medal hunt, however, with two touches to end the bout at 15-13.

Two-time Cadet World Team members Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.) and Violet Michel (Wellesley, Mass.) each earned top-16 finishes on Thursday.

Merza and Michel each finished the pool rounds with 4-1 records to earn byes into the table of 32.

Merza controlled the first period of her bout against Veronique Lamarre (CAN), 8-3, and scored seven straight to earn a 15-3 win.

Michel trailed Ludovica Ferrari (ITA), 5-1, early in the first period of their table of 32 bout, but went on a 7-1 run to take an 8-6 lead. Michel outscored Ferrari, 7-2, in the second for a 15-8 victory.

Merza fenced Italian Beatrice Dalla Vecchia in the table of 16, but lost the bout, 15-11.

In her table of 16, Michel tied the score at nine against Lucia Lucarini (ITA) who entered the Worlds as the No. 2 athlete in the Cadet European Standings after three straight gold medals on the circuit. Michel tied the score against Lucarini at nine, but the Italian scored six of the next seven touches to win the bout, 15-10.

Click here to view complete men’s foil results.

Click here to view complete women’s saber results.

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

Cadet Men’s Foil World Championships
1. Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.)

2. Grigoriy Semenyuk (RUS)
3. Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)
3. Tamas Meszaros (HUN)
5. Jet Shang Fei Ng (SIN)
6. Kenta Suzumura (JPN)
7. Takuma Ito (JPN)
8. Engin Batuhan Menkuer (TUR)

41. Sidarth Kumbla (San Jose, Calif.)

Cadet Women’s Saber World Championships
1. Olga Nikitina (RUS)
2. Lucia Lucarini (ITA)
3. Misaki Emura (JPN)
3. Alexandra Klimova (RUS)
5. Evgenia Podpaskova (RUS)
6. Beatrice Dalla Vecchia (ITA)
7. Maia Chamberlain (Menlo Park, Calif.)
8. Soyeon Yun (KOR)

11. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
12. Violet Michel (Wellesley, Mass.) 

Tag(s): News  Geoffrey Tourette