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U.S. Women’s Epee Team Wins Second Straight World Cup Bronze

11/17/2015, 10:45am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Team USA's bronze medalists Kat Holmes, Courtney Hurley, Kelley Hurley and Katarzyna Trzopek with Coach Andrey Geva. Photo Credit: Andrey Geva.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For the first time in history, the U.S. Women’s Epee Team has won back-to-back World Cup medals, adding a bronze on Sunday in Nanjing, China to its bronze last month in Legnano, Italy.

Featuring 2012 Olympians Courtney and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), three-time Senior World Team member Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) and 2015 Senior World Team member Katarzyna Trzopek (Pacifica, Calif.), the sixth-seeded Americans dominated their opening match for a 45-30 win against Hungary in the table of 16.

In the quarter-finals, Team USA defeated Italy, the 2014 Senior World bronze medalists, 45-36.

The U.S. women narrowly missed a chance at gold after a 25-23 loss to Korea, a team that won silver in London.

Fencing a Chinese team with a home crowd advantage, Team USA ended the day with an upset, knocking off the 2015 Senior World Champions in the bronze medal final, 36-32.

Team USA’s double medal finishes over the past month moved the reigning Olympic bronze medalists up to No. 5 in the world rankings and No. 4 in the Olympic Rankings with the top four teams in the world earning automatic berths to the 2016 Games.

In the individual competition on Saturday, it was Holmes who earned the best finish for the Americans, placing 14th.

While Holmes had the benefit of advancing directly out of the pools on Friday with a 5-1 record, her 32nd seed pitted Holmes against 2012 Olympic silver medalist Britta Heidemann (GER) in the opening round of the direct elimination tables of Saturday. Up by just a touch at 9-8 after two periods, Holmes outscored Heidemann, 6-2, in the final period to earn a 15-10 win.

Holmes fenced Monika Sozansk in the table of 32, edging the German, 9-8, to qualify for her third table of 16 appearance on the World Cup circuit this year. Holmes would fall short of the top eight, however, after a 14-13 loss to 2012 Junior World medalist Sheng Lin (CHN).

Courtney Hurley, who also went 5-1 in pools, was seeded 30th and opened with a 15-7 win against Yulia Lichagina (RUS) in the table of 64. Hurley drew three-time individual Senior World medalist Emese Szasz (HUN) in the 32, however, and lost a close bout, 15-13.

Kelley Hurley entered the event as the only U.S. fencer to be exempt from the pool rounds, but the 13th seed fell in the 64 to Magdalena Piekarska (POL), 15-10.

Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.), a 2014 Junior World silver medalist, continued to establish herself as a contender for the 2016 Olympic Games as she advanced to the second day of the tournament for her second straight event. Sirico, who placed in the top 32 in Legnano, missed the second round of DEs on Saturday by a touch after a 9-8 loss to Sera Song (KOR).

With four international events remaining before the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team is selected, Courtney and Kelley Hurley remain No. 1 and 2 in the standings with Holmes sitting in third. Although Trzopek was eliminated in the preliminary table of 64, she remains fourth in the standings with the top three athletes after the National Championships in April earning individual berths on the team. The fourth athlete in the standings will qualify as a replacement athlete only. Sirico’s result moved her up to sixth, behind her 2015 Junior World teammate Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.) who is fifth following her gold medal win at the October North American Cup.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Nanjing Women’s Epee Individual World Cup
1. Ana Maria Popescu (ROU)
2. Sarra Besbes (TUN)
3. Inna Embrich (EST)
3. Lam Shin (KOR)
5. Emese Szasz (HUN)
6. Violetta Kolobova (RUS)
7. Tatiana Logunova (RUS)
8. Sheng Lin (CHN)

14. Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
25. Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
35. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
50. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
65. Katarzyna Trzopek (Pacifica, Calif.)
111. Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas)
126. Lauren Wunderlich (Astoria, N.Y.)
142. Lydia Kopecky (New York City, N.Y.)
143. Cassandra Bates (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
155. Victoria Mo (Irvine, Calif.)
159. Anna van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
171. Nina Van Loon (Boulder, Colo.)

Nanjing Women’s Epee Team World Cup
1. Russia
2. Korea
3. USA
4. China
5. Estonia
6. Japan
7. Sweden
8. Italy

Tag(s): News  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley  Kat Holmes