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Eyre Wins Fourth Straight Veteran World Gold, Team USA Takes Seven Medals on Day 5

10/17/2016, 10:45am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Team USA's women's saber medalists: Jane Eyre (60 gold), Susan Hurst (+70 silver), Delia Turner (60 silver), Jennette Starks-Faulkner (60 bronze) and Diane Hiatt (+70 bronze). Photo Credit: Wang Yung

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The most decorated veteran fencer in Team USA history extended her winning streak on Saturday when Jane Eyre (Woolwich Township, N.J.) won her fourth straight gold medal in the 60-69 women’s saber event at the Veteran World Championships in Stralsund, Germany.

Eyre, who now holds six individual Vet World golds after two wins as a 50-59 fencer, led a 1-2-3 finish for the Americans as her teammates, Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.) won silver and bronze.

Team USA won a total of seven medals on Saturday, setting a new record of 19 for the United States at the Veteran World Championships.

The Americans continued their saber success with two more medals in the +70 women’s event where Susan Hurst (San Diego, Calif.) and Diane Hiatt (Sparks, Nev.) won silver and bronze.

Marek Stepien (Orland Park, Ill.), a 1992 Olympian, claimed a medal in the only men’s event of the day with a bronze in the 50-59 epee competition while the U.S. Women’s Foil Team won silver in the day’s only team event.

The American women set the tone early in the 60-69 saber competition with Eyre, Turner and Starks-Faulkner taking the No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds in the direct elimination rounds, respectively to earn byes into the 16.

While Eyre, Turner and Starks-Faulkner each won bouts by at least seven touches, an expected all-American quarter-final between Eyre and 2012 Vet World silver medalist Linda Dunn (Greenfield, Ind.) was thwarted by Kaoru Amari (JPN) who was coming off a bronze medal win in foil on Thursday. Amari won their bout, 10-5, to keep Dunn out of the top eight.

In the quarter-finals, Eyre defeated Amari, 10-6, and Starks-Faulkner, who won gold in foil on Friday, dominated her bout against Yoshiko Chikubu (JPN), 10-2. Turner, who won three Vet World titles as a 50-59 fencer, went on a 5-2 run against Adriana Albini (ITA) to close out her bout, 10-7.

With a three-medal finish guaranteed for the Americans, Eyre secured her place in the final with a near-shutout against Jennifer Morris (GBR) who she defeated, 10-1.

The second semifinal would feature a much closer showdown between Starks-Faulkner, who won silver behind Eyre in saber in 2014, and Turner who was making her return to the Vet Worlds after a knee injury left her sidelined in 2015. The bout remained close from the start with neither athlete gaining more than a two-touch lead. With the score tied at eight, however, Turner took the final two touches for a 10-8 win.

The finals would begin close as well with Eyre holding a 3-2 lead before scoring four straight against Turner to take the score to 7-2. Turner mounted a comeback, but it was Eyre who would finish the bout, 10-7, to win her fourth straight gold medal in the event and ninth career individual podium finish since 2005.

In the +70 women’s saber competition, Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.) came in as the two-time reigning Vet World Champion as was a front-runner for gold who had been on the podium every year since 2007.

O’Leary advanced to the quarters, but lost to six-time Vet World Champion Brigitte Greunke (GER) in a rematch of their 2012 final in which O’Leary won gold and Greunke took silver. This time, however, O’Leary lost the bout, 10-8, shortly after Greunke defeated O’Leary’s teammate, Catherine Radle (Atlanta, Ga.), 10-2, in the 16.

Hurst’s quarter-final opponent, Marie-Chantal DeMaille (FRA), is considered to be one of the “grand dames” of fencing as a 19-time individual Veteran World Champion who has won titles in all three weapons. Despite DeMaille’s pedigree, Hurst followed a two-touch lead at 5-3 with five straight touches to win the bout, 10-3.

Hiatt, who won gold in the team event last year, secured her first individual Vet World medal with a 10-6 victory over Patricia Shepherd-Foster (GBR) in the quarters.

Hurst and Hiatt would face off in the semis with Hurst pulling away in the second period where she outscored Hiatt, 5-2, to win the bout, 10-6.

In the finals, Greunke won the bout, 10-2, and Hurst took her second career silver 10 years after winning the +60 title in 2006.

Stepien, who represented Poland at the 1992 Olympic Games, won bronze at his first Veteran World Championships.

Seeded third out of the pools with a 6-0 result, Stepien earned a bye into the table of 64 where he defeated Johan Strom (SWE), 10-4.

Stepien defeated Jon Nottingham (GBR), 10-8, in the 32 and Cosimo Ferro (ITA), 10-7, in the 16.

In the quarter-finals, Stepien scored three singles in the first period against Stig Christensen (DEN) to take a 3-0 lead before ending the bout at 10-6 in the second period.

Stepien fenced 2015 Veteran World medalist Sergey Simovskikh (RUS), but lost the bout, 10-3, as Simovskikh went on to win gold.

Former Veteran World Champion Walter Dragonetti (Las Vegas, Nev.) and first-time Vet World Team member David Jensen (Sierra Madre, Calif.) both earned top-32 results. Michael Perka (Mountain View, Calif.) was eliminated in the table of 64.  

In the women’s foil team competition, Starks-Faulkner joined her teammates in between her individual saber rounds. Her teammates included a pair of individual medalists: Anne-Marie Walters (Parkland, Fla.) who won bronze in the 60-69 event and Lynn Botelho (Indiana, Pa.) who claimed bronze in the 50-59 competition. Georgina Love (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) also fenced in the 50-59 position while 2015 Vet World bronze medalist Ruth Dodge (Loudon, N.H.) and Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.) held the +70 positions on the team.

The Americans finished the pool rounds at 2-0 to take the No. 1 seed in the table of 16. After a bye into the quarters, Team USA fenced Hungary. Walters scored 14 of Team USA’s touches and Botelho anchored the United States to a 30-10 win.

In the semis, Walters led the team in scoring again, picking up 13 touches against Russia to set up Dodge for the anchor position and win the match, 30-25.

The Americans struggled in the finals against France. Although Botelho posted a key win with seven touches in the second bout, France built a 25-17 lead by the end of the fifth. Walters came in as anchor against Corinne Aubailly who won bronze in individual epee and gold in team epee earlier in the week and scored 10 touches, but France ended the match, 30-27, to take gold.

In the women’s 50-59 saber event, Team USA was poised for another strong medal finish, but Chaz Smith (Placerville, Calif.), Robin Pernice (Carlisle, Mass.) and Donna Pepe (Oxford, Conn.) each fell one win short of the podium. All three fencers lost in the quarter-finals to finish fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.

First-time team member Mary Wilkerson (Denver, Colo.) lost to Smith in the previous round, 10-1.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Veteran World Championships Men’s 50-59 Epee
1. Sergey Simovskikh (RUS)
2. Luca Magni (ITA)
3. Marek Stepien (Orland Park, Ill.)
3. Marco Longo (GER)
5. Roberto Codon Miravalle (ESP)
6. Alessandro Di Bella (ITA)
7. Stig Christensen (DEN)
8. Ilia Pevzner (RUS)

21. Walter Dragonetti (Las Vegas, Nev.)
32. David Jensen (Sierra Madre, Calif.)
43. Michael Perka (Mountain View, Calif.)  

Veteran World Championships Women’s Team Foil
1. France
2. USA
3. Russia
4. Italy
5. Germany
6. Great Britain
7. Finland
8. Hungary

Veteran World Championships Women’s 50-59 Saber
1. Friederike Janshen (GER)
2. M.Jose Padura (ESP)
3. Anne Cerboni Bousquet (FRA)
3. Jane Hutchison (GBR)
5. Chaz Smith (Placerville, Calif.)
6. Robin Pernice (Carlisle, Mass.)
7. Donna Pepe (Oxford, Conn.)

8. Christine Zoppke-Donaldson (GER)

15. Mary Wilkerson (Denver, Colo.)

Veteran World Championships Women’s 60-69 Saber
1. Jane Eyre (Woolwich Township, N.J.)
2. Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.)

3. Jennifer Morris (GBR)
3. Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.)
5. Silvia Brown (GBR)
6. Adriana Albini (ITA)
7. Kaoru Amari (JPN)
8. Yoshiko Chikubu (JPN)

10. Linda Dunn (Greenfield, Conn.)

Veteran World Championships Women’s +70 Saber
1. Brigitte Greunke (GER)
2. Susan Hurst (San Diego, Calif.)
3. Brigitte Martin (FRA)
3. Diane Hiatt (Sparks, Nev.)
5. Marie Chantal DeMaille (FRA)
6. Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.)
7. Patricia Shepherd-Foster (GBR)
8. Motoko Kitami (JPN)

15. Catherine Radle (Atlanta, Ga.)

Tag(s): Jane Eyre  Linda J. Dunn