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USA Fencing Qualifies Six for Youth Olympic Games

05/12/2018, 5:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Cadet World Champion Kenji Bravo will compete in Buenos Aires as one of six members of the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Fencing Team. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi / FIE

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing has qualified the maximum six athletes for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games to be held from Oct. 6-18 in Buenos, Aires, Argentina.

The third edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games will feature 36 sports and the best athletes in the world who will live in the Youth Olympic Village and participate in cultural and educational activities in addition to competing for gold.

Athletes were selected by the Federation Internationale d’Escrime based upon results at the 2018 Cadet World Championships, held April 2-8 in Verona, Italy.

All six U.S. team members are expected to be medal contenders in Buenos Aires after earning top-eight finishes in Verona with five fencers earning podium finishes at the Cadet Worlds.

Team USA’s fencing nominees to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games are as follows:

  • Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif. / Men’s Foil)
    Bravo won gold in men’s foil at his first Cadet Worlds and was a member of the U.S. team that won bronze in the junior team competition. The 16 year old had an outstanding junior season this year, earning a No. 11 World Ranking after winning gold at the Junior Pan American Championships and bronze at the Havana Junior World Cup.
  • May Tieu (Belle Mead, N.J. / Women’s Foil)
    Sixteen-year-old Tieu competed at all three events at the Junior and Cadet Worlds, winning silver in her second appearance at the Cadet Worlds and earning gold in team in the junior championships. Tieu also won two individual Cadet European Cup medals in 2017, taking bronze in Budapest and Pisa.
  • Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass. / Women’s Epee)
    The reigning Junior Olympic Champion in the cadet event, Vermeule won silver in her debut at the Cadet World Championships at 16 years old. Vermeule also earned a pair of top-eight finishes on the Cadet European Cup circuit this season.
  • Robert Vidovszky (Folsom, Calif. / Men’s Saber)
    Vidovszky reached the cadet international podium for the first time in 2016 with a bronze medal finish at the Cadet Pan American Championships. This season, the 16 year old returned to the medal stand at the Moedling Cadet European Cup before earning the silver medal at his first Cadet Worlds.
  • Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga. / Women’s Saber)
    Anglade won bronze at her first Cadet Worlds, earning her second individual international medal of the season after winning gold at the Konin Cadet European Cup. The 16 year old also took silver in team this year at the Junior Pan Ams.
  • Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas / Men’s Epee)
    Sixteen-year-old Herbst secured his position on the 2018 Cadet World Team with a bronze medal finish at the Krakow Cadet European Cup and fell one win shy of the podium in Verona with a seventh-place finish.

All athletes will be submitted for final approval to the U.S. Olympic Committee who will formally name the final time for all sports in the coming months.  

Fencing has been contested at all three Summer Youth Olympic Games with Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) winning silver in men’s foil at the 2010 Games in Singapore before going on to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games as an 18 year old. In 2016, Massialas returned to the Olympic Games to win silver in individual and bronze in team.

In 2014, Alexander’s sister, Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), one-upped her older brother with Team USA’s first gold medal in fencing at the Youth Olympic Games. The foil fencer went on to take gold at the 2015 Junior World Championships and has competed at four Senior World Championships.

In addition to the athletes being named to Team USA, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) will travel to the Games as an Athlete Role Model where he is one of 50 elite athletes from around the world who will work with the Youth Olympians in a variety of activities that focus on healthy lifestyles, career advice and Olympic values. 

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