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Eli Dershwitz Makes History with Junior World Title

04/08/2015, 11:30pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Junior World Champion Eli Dershwitz (second from left) on the podium. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE / FencingPhotos.com


Eli Dershwitz after his gold medal win in Tashkent. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE / FencingPhotos.com

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – After taking silver in 2012 and bronze in 2013, Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) won Team USA’s first ever individual men’s saber Junior World title in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Tuesday.

Dershwitz’s historic title also makes him the first American men’s saber fencer ever to win three individual Junior World medals following 2004 Olympian Ivan Lee (Brooklyn, N.Y.) winning bronze in 2000 and silver in 2001.

“It feels so amazing. All the hard work and preparation has finally paid off after a silver in 2012, a bronze in 2013 and a bronze in 2014 in teams. All this experience and the fact that my family and friends were all watching and supporting me means so much,” said Dershwitz.

Dershwitz lost just one bout in pools and earned a bye into the table of 64 where he fenced Hector Florencia (MEX) who, like Dershwitz, represented his nation at the Senior World Championships last year. Dershwitz took the bout win, 15-7, and went on to qualify as the only U.S. fencer in the table of 16 with a win against Bandar Alshamlan (KUW), 15-12.

In the table of 16, Dershwitz took an 8-2 lead over Jose Quintero (VEN) after the first period and went on a 5-0 run to open the second before taking the victory by a 15-6 score.

Dershwitz would face off in one of the day’s most anticipated bouts in the quarter-finals when he took on top-ranked junior Dmitriy Danilenko (RUS) – the 2014 Junior World silver medalist who defeated Team USA’s Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.), 15-6, in the table of 32. Dershwitz went to work quickly against Danilenko, dismantling his opponent, 8-3, in the first period and winning the round, 15-8, to secure his third career individual Junior World medal.

In the evening semifinal, Dershwitz had a strong first period against Mohamed Amer (EGY) with an 8-5 score and controlled the start of the second with three straight touches to take the score to 11-5. Amer scored just five more touches during the remainder of the bout as Dershwitz qualified for the gold medal round with a 15-10 victory over the Egyptian.

Dershwitz went on to dominate the finals against Francesco Bonsanto (ITA). After an 8-3 opening period, Dershwitz scored four of the bout’s last six touches to win gold, 15-8.

“After a disappointing finish last year, I was just in it to win it from the start. I had my goal and I worked my butt off to get it,” said Dershwitz who is now Team USA’s most decorated men’s saber fencer in Junior Worlds history with three individual and one team medal to his credit at his final Junior World Championships.

Dershwitz will go for a fifth podium finish on Thursday with Mackiewicz and Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.) who lost in the table of 64 on Tuesday in his first Junior Worlds appearance. Calvin Liang (Chandler, Ariz.) will join the squad as Team USA’s fourth fencer.

A silver medalist in the team competition in 2014, Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.) fell one bout short of earning an individual medal in 2014 and came to Tashkent with her eyes on the podium, but she struggled in the pool rounds and ended with a 48th seed after two opening losses.

Despite her low seed, Sirico won her table of 128 bout against Sheila Liliana Tejeda (MEX), 15-9 and defeated Veronica Bos (NED), 15-8, in the table of 64.

In the table of 32, Sirico took on her 2014 teammate, Mason Speta (Chicago, Ill.) who was seeded 16th after a 5-1 pool result. Speta led the bout, 8-7, after the first period, but Sirico tied the bout at 13 and scored two singles to defeat Speta, 15-13.

Sirico held Junior World No. 1 Roberta Marzani (ITA) at a tie after the first period of the quarter-finals before the 2014 Junior World medalist pulled away with a 10-7 lead in the second and a 15-9 win late in the third.

Fencing at her first Junior World Championships, 2012 Cadet World medalist Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.) rebounded from a 1-4 pool result with a 15-11 win against Ebba Karlsson (SWE) in the table of 128. Radanovich lost to eventual bronze medalist Xue Qin (CHN), 15-7, in the table of 64. 

Two team events also were contested on Tuesday with Team USA’s women’s saber and men’s foil squads both advancing to the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

In the women’s saber team event, the Americans defeated Hong Kong, 45-37, with two-time Junior World Team medalist Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) anchoring a squad that included Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) who won bronze in the individual event on Monday as well as first-time Junior World Team members Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.) and Regina O’Brien (Wellesley, Mass.)

The U.S. Men’s Foil Team cruised to a 45-21 win over Kuwait with 2014 Junior World team silver medalist Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) anchoring a squad that included 2015 Cadet World Champion Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.) and first-time Junior World Team members Raymond Chen (Dallas, Texas) and Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.)

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

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

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

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

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

Junior Men’s Saber World Championships
1. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)

2. Francesco Bonsanto (ITA)
3. Jules Emile De Visscher (BEL)
3. Mohamed Amer (EGY)
5. Dmitriy Danilenko (RUS)
6. Jonghyun Lee (KOR)
7. Balint Kossuth (HUN)
8. Kunihiko Fiz-Gerald (JPN)

28. Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)
37. Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.)

Junior Women’s Epee World Championships
1. Coraline Vitalis 9FRA)
2. Nadine Stahlberg (GER)
3. Xue Qin (CHN)
3. Yuliya Svystil (UKR)
5. Roberta Marzani (ITA)
6. Victoria Kuzmenkova (RUS)
7. Sofia Cisneros (ESP)
8. Anna Kun (HUN)

16. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
26. Mason Speta (Chicago, Ill.)
64. Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.)

Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz  Andrew Mackiewicz