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Park and Strzalkowski Win Bronze, Team USA Takes Double Gold in Godollo

10/08/2018, 7:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Chloe Gouhin, Imogen Harrison, Ola Strzalkowski and Sky Miller won women't team gold in Godollo. Photo Credit: Zoran Tulum.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA won four medals at the first saber Cadet European Cup of the season in Godollo, Hungary this weekend.

In the individual events, 16-year-old Donghwan Park (Sacramento, Calif.) won the men’s bronze and 15-year-old Aleksandra Strzalkowski (Littleton, Colo.) earned bronze in the women’s events.

Both the men’s and women’s USA 1 squads earned team golds.

Fencing in the individual event on Saturday, Park entered the tournament as the top seed and his podium finish allowed him to remain both No. 1 in the Cadet European Standings and earn the No. 1 position in the USA Fencing National Rolling Point Standings.

Despite his incoming seed, however, Park dropped a bout in pools and found himself with the No. 49 seed in the table of 256.

Park bested his first two opponents by 15-10 and 15-9 scores, defeating Krzysztof Kajor (POL) and Marco Sovar (ROU) to advance to the 32 where he bested Spyridon Krouskos (GRE), 15-4.  

In the table of 16, Park edged Alexandr Valenta (RUS), 15-14.

Both Park and 16-year-old Luke Linder (Chandler, Ariz.) earned positions in the top eight. Park defeated Pietro Di Gianvito (ITA), 15-9, in the quarter-finals, but Linder finished fifth after a 15-14 loss to Pietro Torre (ITA) who went on to win gold.

Park secured his second international medal of the last year; however, he lost to Angelos Pagkalos (GRE), 15-6, in the semis.

On Sunday, Park joined with Nickoloz Lortkipanidze (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.), Sean Moon (Needham, Mass.) and Marcel Merchant (New Rochelle, N.Y.) to form USA 1 in the team event.

Anchored by Lortkipanidze, USA 1 defeated Romania 4, 45-28, in the table of 32 and Romania 2, 45-26, in the table of 16.

USA 1 won or tied all nine bouts in the quarter-finals to take its most dominant victory of the day, defeating Greece 1, 45-21.

The U.S. team won its semifinal bout in similar fashion, defeating Poland 1, 45-22.

In the other semifinal, USA 2 lost to Italy, 45-41. The team of Andrew Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J.), Trenton Schmitt (Granite Bay, Calif.), Will Attig (Portland, Ore.) and Camden Droz (Davie, Fla.) went on to fence for bronze, but ended the day with a 3-2 overall record after a 45-44 loss to Poland 1 in the final match.

In the gold medal final, Italy led the match, 25-22, after the first five bouts, but Lortkipanidze outscored Chirstian Colautti, 8-2, to give the Americans a 30-27 lead. Moon, Merchant and Lortkipanidze won or tied each of the next three bouts to end the match with a 45-37 victory.

The women began the tournament with the team event on Saturday and the USA 1 squad of Aleksandra Strzalkowski (Littleton, Colo.), Sky Miller (Durham, N.C.), Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio) and Imogen Harrison (Portland, Ore.) combined for gold.

Ranked No. 2 in the nation, Gouhin anchored the team to four straight wins, beginning with a 45-33 win over Poland 1 in the table of 32 and a 45-30 victory over Romania 2 in the 16.

USA 1 advanced to the medal rounds with a 45-26 win against Ukraine 1 and defeated Russia 2, 45-38, to qualify for the gold medal final.

In the final match, Strzalkowski came in as a first-time anchor and closed out the gold medal win for USA 1, defeating Russia 1, 45-35.

Strzalkowski had another opportunity to shine on Sunday when she returned to competition in the individual event.

Strzalkowski went undefeated in pools to tie for the No. 5 seed in the direct elimination rounds.

After a bye into the table of 128, Strzalkowski defeated Kira Keszei (HUN), 15-10, and teammate Nithya Guthikonda (Peachtree City, Ga.), 15-3, to make the 32.

Strzalkowski earned a position in the quarter-finals with victories over Kira Keszei (HUN) and Xenia Lackmann (GER) by 15-7 and 15-12 scores, respectively.

In the quarters, Strzalkowski fenced teammate Sky Miller (Durham, N.C.), a gold medalist on the circuit in 2017, and won the bout, 15-11.

Strzalkowski fenced a close bout in the semis, but ended the day with a bronze after a 15-12 loss to Mariya Zinyukhina (RUS).

The bronze medal was the first on the circuit for Strzalkowski who also moved up from No. 6 to No. 4 in the USA Fencing National Rolling Point Standings. Miller moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 behind 2017 Cadet World Team member Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.) Gouhin, who placed in the top 16, holds the No. 3 position in the standings.

View Complete Results

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

Godollo Men’s Individual Saber Cadet European Cup
1. Pietro Torre (ITA)
2. Angelos Pagkalos (GRE)
3. Mao Kokubo (JPN)
3. Donghwan Park (Sacramento, Calif.)
5. Luke Linder (Chandler, Ariz.)

6. Pietro Di Gianvito (ITA)
7. Marco Abate (ITA)
8. Gergo Horvath (HUN)

14. Andrew Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J.)
15. Trenton Schmitt (Granite Bay, Calif.)
18. Simon Kushkov (West Newton, Mass.)
19. Stephen Kim (New York, N.Y.)
31. Will Attig (Portland, Ore.)
36. Nickoloz Lortkipanidze (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.)
50. Casper Mika (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
58. John Lin (Stamford, Conn.)
59. Kirk Chayevsky (Atlanta, Ga.)
65. Sean Moon (Needham, Mass.)
74. Henry Nadile (Tarrytown, N.Y.)
75. Camden Droz (Davie, Fla.)
76. Dmitri Kupanoff (Lake Forest, Calif.)
77. Zachary Chan (Closter, N.J.)
80. William Hu (Granite Bay, Calif.)
82. Marcel Merchant (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
104. Alan Chen (Raleigh, N.C.)
148. Braydon Bolton (Chandler, Ariz.)

Godollo Women’s Individual Saber Cadet European Cup
1. Katinka Battai Sugar (HUN)
2. Mariya Zinyukhina (RUS)
3. Federica Guzzi Susini (ITA)
3. Aleksandra Strzalkowski (Littleton, Colo.)
5. Sky Miller (Durham, N.C.)

6. Roksana Bartosz (POL)
7. Anastasia Anatskaya (RUS)
8. Julia Cieslar (POL)

10. Lola Possick (Weehawken, N.J.)
11. Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio)
13. Atara Greenbaum (Boca Raton, Fla.)
14. Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.)
20. Vivian Lu (Foster City, Calif.)
26. Chiara Di Perna (Sacramento, Calif.)  
32. Zoe Kim (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
46. Megan Liang (San Diego, Calif.)
48. Nithya Guthikonda (Peachtree City, Ga.)
49. Maya Yun (Moorestown, N.J.)
57. Keona Moya (El Dorado Hills, Calif.)
67. Rebecca Whang (Westfield, N.J.)
69. Chloe Williams (Atlanta, Ga.)
74. Imogen Harrison (Portland, Ore.)
85. Monir Fahri (South San Francisco, Calif.)
105. Anna Li (Lake Oswego, Ore.)
132. Stella Berman (New York, N.Y.)
161. Sarah Lacson (Ladera Ranch, Calif.)

Godollo Men’s Team Saber Cadet European Cup
1. USA 1
2. Italy
3. Poland 1
4. USA 2
5. Hungary 1
6. Japan 1
7. Greece 1
8. Russia 2

26. USA 3
39. USA 4

Godollo Women’s Saber Cadet European Cup
1. USA 1

2. Russia 1
3. Russia 2
4. Russia 5
5. Ukraine 1
6. Romania 1
7. Germany 1
8. Poland 1

9. USA 2
11. USA 3

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