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Chloe Fox-Gitomer Earns Career-Best Seventh-Place Finish in Orleans

11/13/2018, 1:30pm CST
By Kristen Henneman

Chloe Fox-Gitomer (right) fenced Alina Komashchuk in the quarter-finals. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi

Dagmara Wozniak, Mariel Zagunis, Monica Aksamit and Eliza Stone placed fourth in the team event. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – After competing at her first Senior World Championships in July, 18-year-old Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.) started the 2018-19 season World Cup season with her best career result on the senior circuit, finishing seventh in Orléans, France on Saturday.

After a 5-1 finish in the pool rounds on Friday, the 2018 Senior Pan American bronze medalist advanced to Saturday’s competition with a 15-8 victory over Olga Hramova (BUL) in the preliminary table of 64.

Fox-Gitomer fenced 2014 Junior World bronze medalist Luca Laszlo (HUN) in the table of 64 on Saturday, building an 8-4 lead at the break and ending the bout with a 15-11 win.

In the next round, she led Malina Vongsavady (FRA), 13-10, late in the second period of their table of 32 bout before Vongsavady called an injury timeout. Vongsavady returned to competition, scoring two touches quickly, but Fox-Gitomer closed out the bout at 15-12.

Fencing in the 16 for the second time at a Senior World Cup this year, Fox-Gitomer took on Yaqi Shao (CHN), who was ranked No. 16 entering the tournament. Although the two bout remained tight throughout, Fox-Gitomer secured the upset, defeating the 2016 Asian Championships silver medalist by a point, 15-14, to fence for her first Senior World Cup medal.

In the quarters, Fox-Gitomer kept the start of the bout close against 2016 Olympic team silver medalist Alina Komashchuk (UKR) who led the bout by three at 8-5 going at the break. In the second period, however, Fox-Gitomer couldn’t overcome the 2013 World Team Champion who took the bout, 15-5.  

The result jumped Fox-Gitomer up to No. 25 in the FIE World Rankings and No. 4 in the USA Fencing National Rolling Point Standings.

The top two fencers in the NRPS, 2016 Olympic team medalists Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) and Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.), both claimed top-16 results at the first World Cup of the season.

Exempt from the preliminary rounds, two-time Olympian Wozniak started the day with a 15-10 win over Yingjia Ma (CHN) and controlled her bout against Svetlana Kormilitsyna (RUS), 15-8, to reach the 16, where she lost to an up-and-coming fencer for France, 18-year-old Sarah Noutcha (FRA), by a score of 15-12.

Zagunis, a two-time Olympic Champion who was fencing in just her third individual international tournament after giving birth to daughter Sunday last fall, made quick work of the pool rounds on Friday, going 6-0 to take the No. 1 seed and a bye into day two.

She continued to cruise in her first two DEs on Saturday, posting a 15-6 victory over Hengyu Yang (CHN) and a 15-7 win over Alejandra Benitez (VEN), 15-7.

However, in the 16, Zagunis drew World No. 3 and 2015 World bronze medalist Anna Marton (HUN). Zagunis came back from a 14-11 deficit to tie the bout, but lost the decisive touch, 15-14. Marton went on to win gold.

The reigning World Championship bronze medalist, Eliza Stone (Princeton, N.J.) fenced teammate Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) in the 64 for the second time in the last month. While Russo won their bout in a comeback at the October North American Cup, Stone took the lead early at 8-3 and didn’t let up, winning the bout, 15-12. Her run came to an end in the 32, however, when she dropped her table of 32 bout to Lucia Martin-Portugues (ESP), 15-10.

Competing in her fourth senior international event, 18-year-old Nora Burke (New York, N.Y.) was a perfect 6-0 in pools on Friday to take the No. 3 seed and a bye to Saturday’s event.

Burke drew 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.) in the 64 and led the bout at 13-10 before Aksamit fought back with four straight to take a 14-13 lead. Burke scored again to tie the bout and took the final touch for a 15-14 win. Burke earned her second top-32 finish at a senior event after a 15-12 loss to two Junior World bronze medalist Liza Pusztai (HUN).

Now ranked No. 8 in the senior standings, Burke’s point haul from the top-32 finish also moves her up to the No. 5 position in the Junior National Rolling Point Standings as she seeks to qualify for her first Junior World Team next season.

On Sunday in the team event, Zagunis, Wozniak, Stone and Aksamit represented Team USA with the squad finishing just short of a medal in fourth place.

The U.S. didn’t drop a bout in its table of 32 matchup against Poland, advancing to the quarter-finals, 45-32.

To clinch a place in the medal rounds, Team USA earned a come-from-behind victory over Korea, which has won team medals at the last two World Championships. Down 30-27 after six rounds, the United States won the final three bouts, outscoring Korea, 18-10, to win the quarter-final, 45-40.

Zagunis won all three of her bouts, tallying a +8 indicator.

In the semifinals, Zagunis gave Team USA a 25-24 lead over top-ranked France going into the sixth, but the defending World Champions won three of the final four bouts to hand Team USA a 45-41 defeat.

Team USA would find itself in another close bout in the bronze medal match. Facing the 2017 World Team Champions, Italy, the Americans were down just one after the second bout. In the third, Wozniak fenced well against 2015 Junior World Team Champion Sofia Ciaraglia, but injured her ankle late in the bout. Wozniak finished the round, but Italy pulled ahead by one at 15-13.  Stone defeated three-time individual World Cup medalist Martina Criscio, 6-5, in the fourth and Zagunis shifted the momentum for Team USA with a 6-1 lead in the fifth to put the Americans up, 25-21. Aksamit came in as a substitution for Wozniak and upset two-time individual Senior World medalist Irene Vecchi, 5-1, to give the Americans an eight-touch lead at 30-22 heading into the seventh. However, Italy rebounded and secured the match, 45-43, by winning the final three bouts.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Orléans Women’s Individual Saber World Cup
1. Anna Marton (HUN)
2. Araceli Navarro (ESP)
3. Alina Komashchuk (UKR)
3. Caroline Queroli (FRA)
5. Manon Brunet (FRA)
6. Sarah Noutcha (FRA)
7. Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
8. Despina Georgiadou (GRE)

12. Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
15. Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
18. Eliza Stone (Princeton, N.J.)
21. Nora Burke (New York, N.Y.)
50. Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.)
57. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
80. Kara Linder (Chandler, Ariz.)
82. Kamali Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.)
85. Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
167. Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.)
185. Gillian Adynski (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Orléans Women’s Team Saber World Cup
1. France
2. Russia
3. Italy
4. USA
5. Hungary
6. Spain
7. Korea
8. China

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