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Courtney Hurley Makes History with Grand Prix Silver in Colombia

05/31/2018, 6:15am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Grand Prix silver medalist Courtney Hurley (far right) with sister Kelley Hurley and coach Andrey Geva. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi / FIE

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Two-time Olympian Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) became the first U.S. women’s epee fencer to earn two career Grand Prix medals on Sunday when she claimed a silver medal in Cali, Colombia at the final Grand Prix of the season.

Hurley, who also won silver at the 2014 Havana Grand Prix, led the U.S. Women’s Epee Team to one of its best results as a whole on the Grand Prix circuit. Three U.S. fencers advanced to the table of 16 for the first time ever at a Grand Prix as Courtney was joined by her older sister, three-time Olympian Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), who placed 11th and 2017 Junior World silver medalist Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.) who earned a career-high 14th on the senior level.

Courtney Hurley finished 5-1 in the pool rounds on Saturday to advance directly to the table of 64 as the field’s 28th seed where she would defeat World and Olympic medals en route to her podium finish.

With the score tied at eight against Hyojoo Choi (KOR) in the second period of the table of 64, Hurley pulled away end the period with a 13-10 lead. While Choi scored first in the third period, Hurley answered with a single and doubled out for a 15-12 victory.

In the table of 32, Hurley fenced sixth seed Injeong Choi (KOR) – a silver medalist in the team event at the 2012 Olympic Games where the Hurleys led Team USA to its first ever women’s epee bronze. Hurley built a two-touch lead early in the bout and retained it with 5-3 and 11-9 leads at the end of the first and second periods. In the third, Hurley closed out at 15-12.

Hurley fenced a close bout against two-time Senior World Champion Rossella Fiamingo (ITA) in the table of 16, tying the score at 12 with 38 seconds on the clock and retreating to the line to send the bout to sudden death overtime. Hurley scored the winning touch with 21 seconds remaining in the bout to earn the win, 13-12.

Hurley fenced 2017 Senior World bronze medalist Olena Kryvytska (UKR) in the quarter-finals for a spot on the podium. After a non-combattivity first period, the score remained tied at four going into the third. Leading the bout, 8-7, Hurley took three straight singles to pull ahead to 11-7 going into the last minute. Kryvytska was forced to chase Hurley in the final 30 seconds and the American finished strong with a pair of singles for a 15-10 victory.

In the evening semifinal, Hurley dominated her bout against 2013 Junior World silver medalist Auriane Mallo (FRA), leading the first period, 6-1, and ending the second at 12-4. Mallo made a short run at a comeback in the third before Hurley finished the bout, 15-9.

Hurley came up against World No. 1 and 2016 Olympic Champion Emese Szasz-Kovacs (HUN) in the gold medal final and kept the bout close with a tie at nine after the second period before Szasz-Kovacz went on a run of three singles before taking the bout, 15-11.

Courtney’s older sister, Kelley Hurley, was exempt from the pool rounds and came into the event as the No. 10 seed. The elder Hurley came out strong against Shiora Komata (JPN), opening at 4-0 and going on to end the bout, 15-10, in the third.

In the table of 32, Kelley had a strong second period against Francesca Boscarelli (ITA), outscoring the Italian, 6-2, to take a 14-8 lead before doubling in the third for a 15-9 win.

Kelley fenced 2012 Olympic team silver medalist Hyojung Jung (KOR) in the table of 16, trailing by two after the second at 9-7. Kelley was unable to recover and Jung took the bout, 15-10.

Nixon, the reigning NCAA Champion for Princeton, went undefeated in the pool rounds, placing second in the field to take the 18th seed in the table of 64.

On Sunday, Nixon had an aggressive second period against Yaping Wang (CHN), outscoring her opponent, 9-5, to take a 13-10 lead before claiming a 15-12 win in the third.

Nixon built on her 7-5 lead over 2015 Junior World Champion Coraline Vitalis (FRA) with four straight singles to end the first period at 11-5. In the second, Nixon gave up just one single to Vitalis to win the bout, 15-7.

In the table of 16, Nixon posed a challenge to Szasz-Kovacs, keeping the score within two at 11-9 going into the final minute. Nixon couldn’t bridge the gap, however, and Szasz-Kovacs took the bout, 15-12.

Three U.S. fencers earned top-32 finishes.

Rio Olympian Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.) was exempt from the pool rounds, but found herself down by two against Yania Gavilan Sanchez (CUB) at 12-10 late in the third. Holmes scored two singles to tie the bout at 12 and the fencers doubled to 13 before the period ended and the bout went into overtime. After a double during the first exchange, Holmes scored a single to advance at 14-13.

In the 32, Mallo led Holmes, 7-4, going into the final minute of the bout and finished with a 13-9 win.

Natalie Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.), a member of the 2018 Senior World Team, finished 5-1 in pools to advance directly to the 64 as the thirtieth seed.

Vie’s opening direct elimination bout would be a rematch of the finals of the Division I National Championships in April where two-time Junior World Team medalist Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.) defeated Vie to win her first Div I National Championship. After a non-combattivity call in the opening period, Vie ended the second with a 6-5 lead. Vie scored three straight singles to bring the score to 9-5 and went on to end with a 15-10 victory.

Vie led No. 4 seed Young Mi Kang (KOR), 6-4, after the first period, but the 2016 Olympian outscored Vie, 11-4, in the second to win the bout, 15-10.

Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas), a 2009 Junior World team medalist, finished the pool rounds at 3-3 and defeated Lil Chiquet (CHN), 15-12, to qualify for the second day.

Bassa advanced to the table of 32 after 2010 Senior World bronze medalist Nathalie Moellhausen (BRA) failed to appear at the strip.

In her next bout, Vie stayed with Junior World No. 1 Federica Isola (ITA) in the first period, holding the 2017 Junior World bronze medalist to a 5-3 lead. In the second, however, Isola rattled off seven straight touches to pull ahead to 12-3 before ending the bout at 15-6.

Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.) and Cassandra Bates (Concord, Mass.) each earned top-64 results.

Washington, a 2015 NCAA Champion for St. John’s, finished 4-2 in pools and earned a bye through the preliminary table of 64 to qualify for the rounds on Sunday.

In the 64, Washington led 2014 Senior World bronze medalist Erika Kirpu (EST), 13-12, in the final period, but Kirpu scored three straight to close the bout at 15-13.

Fencing at her second ever Grand Prix, Bates earned her first top-64 result on the senior circuit. After a 3-3 pool finish, Bates edged Patrizia Piovesan Silva (VEN), 15-14, to qualify for the 64.  

As the 61st seed, Bates drew Kryvytska in the opening round on Sunday, but kept the bout at a 7-7 tie before falling to the Ukrainian, 15-11, in the third.

In the men’s event, 2011 Junior World Team member James Kaull (New York City, N.Y.) earned his first top-16 finish at a senior international event.

Kaull went 3-3 in the pool rounds on Friday and defeated 2013 Cadet World Team member Gabe Canaux (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 11-2, to qualify for the table of 64 on Sunday.

With Kaull up, 7-6, in the final 10 seconds of his 64 bout against Enrico Garozzo (ITA), the 2016 Olympic team silver medalist was forced to chase Kaull who countered for six straight singles to end with a 13-6 win.

In the 32, Kaull found himself down against two-time individual Junior World silver medalist Valerio Cuomo (ITA) who led the bout, 11-7, going into the final minute. With 15 seconds remaining in the bout, Kaull ripped off three straight singles to guarantee an overtime period. He scored first against the Italian to win the bout, 13-12.

The pace would be slow in the first two periods of Kaull’s bout against 2014 Junior World silver medalist Byeungchan Jung (KOR) with the Korean holding a 4-2 lead after a pair of non-combattivity calls. Jung held a 10-6 lead going into the final 30 seconds, but Kaull scored three straight singles to cut Jung’s lead to 10-9 with 8.3 seconds remaining in the bout. Jung singled again at 4.2 seconds and Kaull stole another with 1.4 seconds on the clock. Kaull flew at Jung as the clock ticked down, but only came away with a double at 0.1 to end the bout with a 12-11 loss. Jung would go on to win his first career Grand Prix silver.

Alex Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.), a 2013 Senior World Team member, tied for second out of pools after finishing 6-0 with a +17 indicator and advanced directly to the table of 64.

With Willian Gascon (VEN) leading the bout, 11-10, late in the third, Tsinis went on a 5-2 run to end with a 15-12 win with 20 seconds left in the bout.

In the 32, 2017 Senior World bronze medalist Richard Schmid (GER) fenced a fast-paced bout against Tsinis, pulling away from a 4-3 lead to close with a 15-8 victory with one minute and 19 seconds remaining in the opening period.  

Three U.S. men earned top-64 results.

A member of the 2018 Senior World Team, Jake Hoyle (New York City, N.Y.) finished 4-2 in pools and defeated Georg Kuhn (SUI), 15-8, in the preliminary table of 64.

Hoyle drew Jung in the table of 64 on Sunday and found himself down, 7-1 in the second. While he cut Jung’s lead to 8-4 to end the period, the Korean finished strong in the third to take the bout, 15-8.

After a 3-3 finish in the pool rounds, 2013 Cadet World Champion Ari Simmons (Bellaire, Texas) defeated Andrea Russo (ITA), 15-12, to advance to the 64.

On Sunday, 2016 Olympic Champion outscored Simmons 7-3, in the second period to win the bout, 15-9. Simmons would go on to win bronze.

Teddy Lombardo (Mount Kisco, N.Y.), a 2018 Junior World Team member, nearly pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset in Cali.

Fencing at his first senior international event, Lombardo narrowly escaped the pool rounds with a 2-4 finish and defeated Jongkwan Ka (KOR), 15-12, in his first DE.

As the 64th seed in the table of 64, Lombardo drew World No. 4 Max Heinzer (SUI). Lombardo kept the bout within two touches throughout all three periods before tying Heinzer at 13 in the third. Heinzer scored two singles, however, to end the bout with a 15-13 victory.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Cali Women’s Epee Grand Prix
1. Emese Szasz-Kovacs (HUN)
2. Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
3. Federica Isola (ITA)
3. Auriane Mallo (FRA)
5. Olena Kryvytska (UKR)
6. Young Mi Kang (KOR)
7. Marta Ferrari (ITA)
8. Hyojung Jung (KOR)

11. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
14. Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
20. Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
27. Natalie Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.)
31. Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas)
38. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
46. Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.)
60. Cassandra Bates (Concord, Mass.)
66. Lydia Kopecky (Chicago, Ill.)

Cali Men’s Epee Grand Prix
1. Yannick Borel (FRA)
2. Byeungchan Jung (KOR)
3. Sangyoung Park (KOR)
3. Daniel Jerent (FRA)
5. Bogdan Nikishin (UKR)
6. Max Heinzer (SUI)
7. Jinsun Jung (KOR)
8. Yulen Pereira (ESP)

16. James Kaull (New York City, N.Y.)
19. Alexander Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.)
48. Jake Hoyle (New York City, N.Y.)
61. Ari Simmons (Bellaire, Texas)
64. Teddy Lombardo (Mount Kisco, N.Y.)
72. Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.)
74. Dennis Kraft (Bloomfield, N.J.)
75. Gabe Canaux (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
79. Yeisser Ramirez (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
89. Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.)
90. Adam Rodney (New Orleans, La.)
94. Lewis Weiss (Houston, Texas)


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