Sabre Rattling in Chicago
Watch the finals of the Men’s and Women’s Individual Sabre from Chicago:
Chicago Women’s Sabre Individual
This was also a big weekend for Team USA, hosting the Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup.
The American favorite, Mariel Zagunis, came in to the individuals with five straight podium finishes in the season under her belt as well as a silver medal from last year’s edition of this event. Her initial 2nd seed allowed her to skip the preliminary rounds on Friday. She began in the table of 64 matched up against her teammate and 2009 Cadet World medalist Nicole Glon, where Zagunis started with a strong 15-5 first victory. In the table of 32 she fenced Loreta Gulotta (ITA). The Italian had begun to close on Zagunis during the second period, but the American scored five straight touches to win 15-8. Then in the table of 16, she faced off against two-time Senior World Team Champion Ekaterina Dyachenko (RUS), where she won 15-9. Dyachenko and Zagunis have faced off twice before this season, with Zagunis scraping 15-14 wins in both. In the quarter finals she met another familiar face and Dyachenko’s teammate: three-time Senior World Team Champion Dina Galiakbarova (RUS). Galiakbarova ended Zagunis’ winning streak by beating her 15-12, giving Zagunis the highest American women’s sabre placing at 6th.
Ibtihaj Muhammad defeated Sandra Sassine (CAN), 15-7, in the table of 64 and fenced her younger sister Faizah Muhammad in the table of 32, 15-11. Alina Komashchuk (UKR) was Muhammad’s next opponent, who won the close match 15-14. Muhammad placed 11th overall. Komashchuk had fenced another American in the previous round, Dagmara Wozniak, and won 15-7. Komashchuk beat Galiakbarova in the semifinals 15-11.
Sage Palmedo, the only other American who made it to the table of 16, upset fourth seeded Aleksandra Socha (POL) in the table of 64, 15-7. She then faced Eliza Stone in the table of 32. This match has a potential impact on who qualifies for the 2013 Senior World Team, since Stone is ranked fourth and Palmedo is fifth in the nation. Palmedo made a comeback and closely defeated Stone, 15-14. She then faced off against Azza Besbes (TUN) and lost 15-13. Besbes was then defeated by Komashchuk 15-13.
Jiyeon Kim (KOR) would win it all, besting Komashchuk with a final score of 15-10.
For complete results, visit www.sabreworldcup.com.
Chicago Men’s Sabre Individual
Daryl Homer mirrored his US teammate Mariel Zagunis with a 6th place finish at the Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup, the highest of the American man’s sabre. Homer’s Top 10 world ranking matched him against his teammate Aleksander Ochocki in the table of 64, where Homer bested his friend 15-10. Homer’s next opponent in the table of 32 was Francois Regent (FRA), where Homer won by a close 15-14. His round of 16 matchup was Tiberiu Dolniceanu (ROU), which Homer came away with a 15-12 win. Eli Dershwitz, the only other American to make it to the round of 32, had been bested by Dolniceanu in the round before Homer 15-11.
In the quarter finals Homer was matched up against 2012 Olympic Champion Aron Szilagyi (HUN), where his win streak ended when the Hungarian bested him 15-8. Szilagyi next opponent was Luigi Samele (ITA) in the semifinals. Szilagyi won 15-12, which entered him into the final bout against Matyas Szabo (GER). The German was victorious in the close bout, winning 15-14.
For complete results, visit www.sabreworldcup.com.Sabre Rattling in Chicago by Craig Harkins