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Palmedo Wins Junior World Bronze, Takes Overall Junior World Cup Title

04/08/2015, 6:00am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Bronze medalist Sage Palmedo with armorer Brian Rosen, athletic trainer Giuseppe Giovatto Jr., coach Oleg Stetsiv and chef de mission Wes Glon Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) ended the 2014-15 junior season on Monday with her sixth podium finish and the No. 1 world ranking that she claimed last fall and hasn’t let go since.

After winning four Junior World Cups as well as the Pan American Junior Championships earlier this season, Palmedo came into the Junior Worlds as the reigning individual silver medalist and a two-time team medalist.

Palmedo finished the pools at 5-1 and earned a No. 8 seed into the table of 64 where she opened with an 8-1 lead after the first period and went on to take the bout at 15-9 against Aigerim Sarybay (KAZ).

In the table of 32, Palmedo fenced Julieta Toledo (MEX) – a two-time Senior World team member who won silver at the 2014 Cadet Worlds. With Toledo up, 5-2, in the first period, Palmedo scored six straight to take an 8-5 lead as she went on to take a 15-10 victory in the second.

Palmedo controlled her table of 16 bout against Ayaka Mukae (JPN) to whom she allowed only four touches in each period for a 15-8 win.

Fencing against top seed Yana Obvintseva (RUS) in the quarters, Palmedo opened with a 7-1 run and gave up just one touch in the second period to win the bout, 15-4, and claim her second individual Junior World medal.

In the semifinals, 2014 Senior World team silver medalist Manon Brunet (FRA) came out with a 4-1 lead as Palmedo struggled to stay in the bout. The American reeled off seven straight touches, however, to take an 8-4 lead at the break. Palmedo held her lead in the second where she was one touch away from the finals at 14-10. Brunet scored four straight to tie the bout and picked up a fifth for a 15-14 win.

In addition to winning bronze, Palmedo becomes the first U.S. athlete to win the Overall Junior World Cup title since Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) did so in 2010. Palmedo also joins an elite group of women’s saber fencers who have won four or more Junior World medals, including two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.), three-time Olympic medalist Sada Jacobson (Atlanta, Ga.), two-time Olympic medalist Becca Ward (Washington, D.C.) and 2004 Olympian Emily Jacobson (Atlanta, Ga.)

Two of Palmedo’s teammates were each eliminated in the table of 64.

After fencing in four straight Junior World Championships coming into this event, two-time Junior World team medalist Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) tied Rebecca Gargano (ITA) in the table of 64 at 11, but the Italian pulled away with four touches to Russo’s one for a 15-12 win.

First-time Junior World Team member Regina O’Brien (Wellesley, Mass.) lost her table of 64 bout to Diana Zalevska (UKR). Although O’Brien kept the bout close early, Zalevska ran away with the second period for a 15-6 win.

In the men’s foil event, Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.) came in to the competition as one to watch after winning the Cadet World Championship title last week and entered the direct elimination rounds as the seventh seed out of the pools. After a bye through the table of 128, Moelis needed just over a period to defeat Conrad Seilbaek Kongstad (DEN), 15-13.

Moelis took a three-period win over Dominik Schoppa (GER), 15-10, in the table of 32. In the next round, Thomas Lerche (DEN) scored three touches to open the bout, but Moelis answered with nine straight before closing out the first period, 11-7. In the second period, Moelis finished the bout at 15-11.

In the semifinals, Moelis fenced Damiano Rosatelli (ITA), but lost to the eventual champion, 15-14, to finish seventh overall.

First-time team member Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.) advanced to the table of 16 after a pair of 15-6 wins against David Vegh (SVK) and Hazem Khazbak (EGY). In the table of 16, Branman came within a touch of his opponent at 12-11, but Andrzej Rzadkowski (POL) finished with three straight touches to win the bout, 15-11.

A silver medalist in the team event at the 2014 Junior World Championships, Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) entered the event in Uzbekistan as a first-time fencer in the individual event. Kiefer trailed Hyun Woo Kim (KOR), 10-4, but came back to tie the bout first at 11 and again at 14 before Kim scored the final touch for a 15-14 win.

Monday also featured the start of the team competition in Uzbekistan.

Following the individual gold medal win by Sara Taffel (New York City, N.Y.), the U.S. Women’s Foil Team won its table of 16 match against Spain, 45-17, with Taffel being joined by Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)

In the men’s epee event, 2013 Cadet World Champion Ari Simmons (Bellaire, Texas) anchored the team of 2014 Junior World medalist Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.), Anton Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas) and Sam Freiman (Woodlands, Texas). Team USA defeated Kazakhstan, 45-34, in the table of 32 and needed just one more victory to advance to the second day of competition.

The Americans lost to Italy, 45-29, however, and were sent into the repechage table for the 9th – 16th places.

In the first match of the repechage, Team USA won or tied five of the first eight bouts against Korea to take a 35-34 lead going into the anchor bout where Piskovatskov took on Taejin Son. Piskovatskov held the bout at a tie at 39, but Son scored six of the next eight touches to give Korea the 45-41 win.

Team USA struggled in the next match where Israel held a 40-30 lead after the first eight bouts. Simmons returned to the anchor leg where he would fence Ariel Drizin – the fencer Simmons fell to in the individual event on Sunday. This time, Simmons split the touches at five, but couldn’t pull ahead as Israel won the match, 45-35.

In the match for 15th place, Finland held a 40-28 lead against the Americans going into the final bout where Simmons outscored Valter Mickwitz, 6-5. The bout win wouldn’t be enough, however, as Finland took the match, 45-34, and Team USA finished in 16th place.

Click here to view complete individual women’s saber results.

Click here to view complete individual men’s foil results.

Click here to view complete team women’s foil results.

Click here to view complete team men’s epee results.

Top eight and U.S. results for the individual events are as follows:

Junior Women’s Saber World Championships
1. Caroline Queroli (FRA)
2. Manon Brunet (FRA)
3. Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.)
3. Anna Bashta (RUS)
5. Yana Obvintseva (RUS)
6. Petra Zahonyi (HUN)
7. Xinting Yu (CHN)
8. Misaki Emura (JPN)

37. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
40. Regina O’Brien (Wellesley, Mass.)

Junior Men’s Foil World Championships
1. Damiano Rosatelli (ITA)
2. Francesco Ingargiola (ITA)
3. Mengkai Huang (CHN)
3. Hyeonjun Yang (KOR)
5. Andras Nemeth (HUN)
6. Andrzej Rzadkowski (POL)
7. Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.)
8. Kolja Dahlin (DEN)

12. Matthew Branman (Villlanova, Pa.)
41. Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)

Tag(s): News  Sage Palmedo