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Nicole Ross Moves Up to No. 4 World Ranking with Fifth-Place Finish in China

05/24/2017, 6:15am CDT
By Kristen Henneman

Nicole Ross earned her sixth top-eight finish on the World Cup circuit this season. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi / FIE

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – After claiming her sixth top-eight international result of the season this past weekend at the Shanghai Foil Grand Prix, Nicole Ross (New York, N.Y.) has earned a No. 4 world ranking, the highest of her career.

Advancing to her sixth quarter-final this season, the 2012 Olympian wrapped up the best World Cup season of her career, medaling in her first three international events of the season.

The top four women’s foil fencers in the world now include two Americans. Two-time Olympian Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) is currently ranked No. 2 after skipping the Shanghai Grand Prix to attend her graduation from Notre Dame.

Seeded fourth to start the event, Ross earned a bye into the table of 64 on Saturday, where she drew 15-year-old Yuka Ueno (JPN). Down 4-1 after the first period, Ross narrowed the gap to one point after the second and finished the bout on a 9-5 run to win, 15-12.

The following round, Ross defeated Marika Chrzanowska (POL), 15-10, before facing one of Russia’s rising stars in 18-year-old Marta Martyanova. Ross jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead after the first period and cruised to a 15-8 victory over the 2014 Cadet World Champion and silver medalist at the last Grand Prix in Long Beach.

In the quarter-finals against 2014 Junior World bronze medalist Svetlana Tripapina (RUS), Ross took an 11-10 lead to open the bout, but couldn’t hold on, falling 15-13.

A gold medalist at the Gdansk World Cup in February, Tripapina defeated another American in the table of 32, besting Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.), 15-9.

With a 15-7 win over Chloe Jubenot (FRA) on Friday, Dubrovich secured a position in the table of 64, where she posted a 15-11 victory over two-time Senior World medalist Carolin Golubytski (GER).

Three-time Senior World Team member Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) and two-time Olympian Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also made the table of 64.

Lu finished eighth in pools to advance directly to the table of 64. There, she lost to Serena Teo (ITA), 11-8.

After going 3-3 in pools, Prescod dominated her preliminary table of 64 bout against Nicole Mae Hui Shan Wong (HKG), 15-6, but dropped her first bout of the day Saturday, 15-11, to two-time Grand Prix bronze medalist Adelina Zagidullina (RUS).

Saturday also marked the start of the men’s competition. Seventeen-year-old Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.) had the strongest outing for Team USA, going an undefeated 6-0 in pools to move directly into Sunday’s competition.

One of seven Americans to compete in the table of 64, Itkin used an 11-8 first period lead to claim a 15-10 victory over Ryo Miyake (JPN).

In the following round, Itkin lost to four-time Olympian Richard Kruse (GBR), 15-6. Kruse went on to win gold.

Rio Olympians Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), Miles Chamley-Watson (New York, N.Y.) and Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) were all upset in the table of 64.

Massialas struggled against Maximilien Chastanet (FRA), losing 15-11, while Chamley-Watson was edged by Carlos Llavador (ESP), 15-14. Imboden stumbled against 2015 Junior World bronze medalist Mengkai Huang (CHN), dropping his bout, 15-6.

A trio of Italians eliminated Adam Mathieu (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Philip Shin (New York, N.Y.) and Julian Knodt (Palo Alto, Calif.) in the 64.

Mathieu advanced to the 64 for the second straight tournament after earning a top-64 result earlier this month in St. Petersburg, Russia. After going 4-2 in pools, Mathieu defeated Daijun Ma (CHN), 15-11, in the preliminary table of 64 on Saturday. On Sunday, Mathieu fell to 2013 Junior World silver medalist Lorenzo Nista (ITA), 15-6.

Shin and Knodt made appearances in the table of 64 on the senior level in international competition for the first time their careers.

Shin, who finished the pools at 3-2, controlled his PT64 bout against Baptiste Mourrain (FRA), 15-7, before coming up short against three-time Olympic medalist Andrew Cassara (ITA) on Sunday, 15-9.

After a 3-3 pool result Knodt outscored Siu Lun Cheung (HKG), 15-10, to reach the 64, but lost to 2012 Olympic Team Champion Giorgio Avola (ITA), 15-5.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Shanghai Men’s Foil Grand Prix
1. Richard Kruse (GBR)
2. Alessio Foconi (ITA)
3. Erwan Le Pechoux (FRA)
3. Dmitry Zherebchenko (RUS)
5. Lorenzo Nista (ITA)
6. Takahiro Shikine (JPN)
7. Jun Heo (KOR)
8. Maximilien Chastanet (FRA)

21. Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
33. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
35. Miles Chamley-Watson (New York, N.Y.)
36. Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
50. Adam Mathieu (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
60. Philip Shin (New York, N.Y.)
63. Julian Knodt (Palo Alto, Calif.)
69. Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)
98. Michael Li (Palo Alto, Calif.)
113. Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.)
116. Spencer Gordon-Sand (New York, N.Y.)
123. Jason Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)

Shanghai Women’s Foil Grand Prix
1. Martina Batini (ITA)
2. Inna Deriglazova (RUS)
3. Ysaora Thibus (FRA)
3. Svetlana Tripapina (RUS)
5. Nicole Ross (New York, N.Y.)
6. Eleanor Harvey (CAN)
7. Alice Volpi (ITA)
8. Beatrice Monaco (ITA)

32. Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.)
37. Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)      
54. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
68. Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
90. Madison Zeiss (Culver City, Calif.)
107. Helen Tan (Coppell, Texas)
112. Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.)



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