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U.S. Fencers Bring Home Two Cadet Saber Medals From Verona

04/05/2018, 10:00pm CDT
By Kristen Henneman

Cadet women's saber bronze medalist Alexis Anglade and men's silver medalist Robert Vidovszky. Photo Credit: Kristen Henneman.

(Verona, Italy) – Team USA had its strongest day thus far at the Junior and Cadet World Championships on Thursday, taking two medals in the cadet saber events as Robert Vidovszky (Folsom, Calif.) won silver and Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.) claimed bronze.

The two podium finishes from the first-time Cadet World Team members brings the U.S. medal count to three at Cadet Worlds, tying host Italy at the top of the standings.

“It feels pretty good. I really worked a lot to get here in this position,” Vidovszky said of his silver medal. “Too bad I didn’t win the gold, but I tried my best and second was what I got today.”

Vidovskzy got off to a great start, going 6-0 in pools to take the No. 1 seed and a bye into the table of 64, where he cruised past Andres Jimenez (CHI), 15-6, before defeating Paco Boureau (FRA), 15-11.

In the table of 16, Vidovszky earned a 15-14 come-from-behind victory over Michele Gallo (ITA). Down 11-7, Vidovszky went for five straight touches to take the lead and at 14-14, took the decisive touch to advance to the quarter-finals.

“I knew I had to do some kind of action because I’ve seen all these good fencers and whenever they have these close bouts, usually the person doing the action wins the bout,” Vidovszky said. “I thought to myself, ‘what do I have to lose,’ so I just took an action and got the point.”

One win away from securing a medal, Vidovszky faced teammate Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.) The Folsom, California native jumped out to a 5-1 lead and up 8-4 at the break, Vidovszky was able to sustain the lead the rest of the way, winning 15-11.

In the semifinals, Vidovszky took another quick lead. He went up 5-1 and took an 8-2 lead into the break against Krisztian Rabb (HUN), which led to a 15-11 victory and an opportunity to fence for gold.

Taking on Andre Pastin (ROU) for the Cadet World title, Vidovszky never led, but kept the bout within striking distance as he went down 8-6 at the halfway point.

Although Vidovszky took the first point of second period, Pastin went on a 6-1 run to go up 14-8. Vidovszky tried to make a comeback, scoring two straight touches, but the effort came too late, and he fell, 15-10.

A U.S. fencer has now won a silver medal in men’s saber at each of the last three Cadet World Championships.

“After the break, I adjusted to his type of fencing,” Vidovszky said. “Obviously he’s a good fencer; he made it to the finals, but something wasn’t clicking for me. I tried to adjust and I did a little, but it was too late.”

Anglade started her day 5-1 in pools to move directly into the table of 64. After overcoming Bai Xun You Liu (CAN), 15-10, Anglade gave up just three points in her table of 32 bout, dominating against Oleksandra Bondor (UKR), 15-3.

In the 16, Anglade went up 8-3 at the break against Dariya Drozd (RUS), and continued to press in the second period, earning a 15-7 victory to advance to the quarter-finals.

“[The key for me early] was to make sure I really stayed focus and make sure I knew what I was doing, and to make as little mistakes as possible,” Anglade said.

Anglade’s quarter-final went down to the final touch as she edged out Yoana Ilieva (BUL), 15-14.

Tied at six, Anglade went on 4-0 run, but Ilieva wouldn’t back down and came back to tie the bout at 10. With Anglade up 13-11, Ilieva once again made a comeback and even took a 14-13 lead, but Anglade came up with critical two touches to guarantee a medal.

The semifinals saw Anglade fence Natalia Botello (MEX), who had already won silver in the junior women’s saber event after winning the 2017 Junior World title as a 14 year old.

After going down by four points early, Anglade cut the gap to one at 6-5. However, Botello closed the bout, 9-3, to hand Anglade a 15-8 loss.

The bronze marked the second straight year a U.S. fencer has stood on the podium.

“I’ve never qualified for Worlds before, so to make it here for my first time and win bronze is pretty nice,” Anglade said.

Team USA’s youngest member, 14-year-old Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.) went 5-1 in pools and kept her first round opponent to single digits, claiming a 15-7 victory over Pimnares Puto (THA).

In the table of 32, Johnson trailed Hayoung Jeon (KOR) 8-6 at the end of the first period, but gave up just two points in the second and used a 5-0 run at the beginning of the period to win, 15-10.

Once again facing a deficit at the break in the 16 at 8-4, Johnson couldn’t switch the momentum, dropping the bout, 15-9, to Ilieva.

Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) earned the No. 1 seed out of pools with a 6-0 record, but fell to Caoquian Ma (CHN), 15-13, in the table of 64.

In the men’s competition, Skeete, who fenced yesterday in the junior competition, went 5-1 in pools and controlled his first direct elimination bout against Jia Jin Calvin Ray Zau (HKG), 15-7.

In the 32, Skeete fenced his Nellya teammate and 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.) Walker would have no answer for Skeete in the first period as he went up 8-0, leading to a 15-10 win for Skeete.

Skeete jumped out to another quick lead in the 16, outscoring Jules Geraud (FRA) 8-2 in the first period. Geraud cut the lead to one at 11-10 in the second, but Skeete closed out the bout on a 4-1 run to post a 15-11 victory before his quarter-final loss to Vidovszky.

Skeete will return to competition on Friday as the lone U.S. cadet saber fencer to compete in the junior team event.

Like Skeete, Walker went 5-1 in pools and easily earned a victory in the 64, besting Nicholas Dinu (CAN), 15-6.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Cadet World Individual Men’s Saber Championships
1. Andrei Pastin (ROU)
2. Robert Vidovszky (Folsom, Calif.)
3. Krisztian Rabb (HUN)
3. Alonso Santamaria (ESP)
5. Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.)
6. Samuel Jarry (FRA)
7. Rares Ailinca (ROU)
8. Antonio Heathcock (GER)

26. Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.)

Cadet World Individual Women’s Saber Championships
1. Liza Pusztai (HUN)
2. Natalia Botello (MEX)
3. Alina Klyuchnikova (RUS)
3. Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.)
5. Yoana Ilieva (BUL)
6. Benedetta Taricco (ITA)
7. Valentina Nagy (HUN)
8. Ho Chee Ma (HKG)

11. Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.)
33. Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)



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