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Kenji Bravo Wins Junior Pan Am Foil Gold

03/09/2018, 6:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Pan American Junior Champion Kenji Bravo. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.) won his first junior international individual gold on Wednesday as he claimed the men’s foil title at the Junior Pan American Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Bravo, who recently qualified for both the 2018 Junior and Cadet World Championship Teams, won five straight direct elimination bouts, dominating the field to take gold in the U20 event.

After a 4-1 finish in pools, Bravo held all of his subsequent opponents to single digits on his run to the top of the podium.

Bravo defeated Jose Briceno (VEN), 15-6, in the table of 32, and won his next two bouts against a pair of brothers, besting 18-year-old Alexander Kunz Malagamba (MEX), 15-8, in the 16 and 16-year-old two-time Junior World Cup medalist Bernard Kunz Malagamba (MEX), 15-5, in the quarter-finals.

In the medal rounds, Bravo won both his semifinal and final bouts by 15-8 margins against Blake Broszus (CAN) and 2017 Guatemala Junior World Cup medalist Cesar Colon Lopez (PUR).

Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla.) and Shane Iverson (Basking Ridge, N.J.) each earned top-16 results.

Olivares, who will fence with Bravo at the Cadet Worlds, defeated teammate Lucas Lutar (Brewster, N.Y.), 15-7, in the table of 32 before a 15-14 loss to Patrick Liu (CAN) in the 16.

Iverson, a freshman at Penn State, fenced a pair of Argentinians in his direct elimination bouts. After a 15-8 win over Erik Gabriel Varas, Iverson fell to two-time Cadet Pan American silver medalist Augusto Antonio Servello, 15-13.

Women’s saber fencers Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.) and Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.) each earned top-eight results.

Both Junior World Team members, Fox-Gitomer and Johnson went undefeated in pools, finishing 5-0 to take the first and third seeds, respectively.

After a bye into the table of 16, Fox-Gitomer defeated Crelia Ramos (VEN), 15-6. Fox-Gitomer missed the podium by a touch, however, after a 15-14 loss to Abigail Valdez Andrade (MEX) who went on to win silver.

Johnson dominated her first bout in the 16 against Madison Thurgood (CAN) with a 15-2 win, but lost to Diana Gonzalez (MEX), 15-13, in the quarters. Gonzalez would go on to win bronze as part of a 1-2-3 finish for Mexico, led by 2017 Junior World Champion Natalie Botello who also won the Cadet Pan Am event.

Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.), who will fence on the Cadet World Team together next month, each finished in the 16.

Jenkins defeated Maria Gutierrez (VEN), 15-9, in the table of 32, but lost to Gonzalez, 15-12.

Anglade also won her opening DE bout, defeating Simran Moolchandaney (CHI), 15-5. Anglade lost her next bout to Botello, 15-9.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Junior Men’s Foil Pan American Championships
1. Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)

2. Cesar Colon Lopez (PUR)
3. Gustavo Alarcon (CHI)
3. Blake Broszus (CAN)
5. Augusto Antonio Servello (ARG)
6. Bernard Kunz Malagamba (MEX)
7. Sebastian Tirado (PUR)
8. Patrick Liu (CAN)

12. Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla.)
15. Shane Iverson (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
22. Lucas Lutar (Brewster, N.Y.)

Junior Women’s Saber Pan American Championships
1. Natalie Botello (MEX)
2. Abigail Valdez Andrade (MEX)
3. Diana Gonzalez (MEX)
3. Luana Pekelman (BRA)
5. Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
6T. Laura Lopez Guarin (COL)
6T. Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
8. Veronique Lamarre (CAN)

11. Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.)
12. Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)

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