Nick Itkin leads Team USA with a gold medal in the Junior Men’s Foil event, which was followed up by a Gold medal for Kenji Bravo in the Cadet Men’s Foil and a gold for the Junior Women’s Foil Team at the 2018 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships in Verona, Italy.
Editor’s Note: This was last updated April 10th upon the conclusion of the tournament.
Itkin, ranked number three on the FIE Junior points list, defeated world number one Tommaso Marini. Itkin took an early lead and while the bout was competitive, he remained in control throughout. This makes Itkin the second American ever to win a Junior Men’s Foil World Championship title – only Olympian Alex Massialas has done it before.
The final touch of Itkin vs Marini
Teammate Sidarth Kumbla earned Bronze in the same event, losing a nail-biting 15-14 bout in overtime to Iktin in the semi-final round. Geoffrey Tourette also fell to teammate Itkin in the top 16, 15-12, while Sam Moelis also fell in the top 16, upset 13-15 to Kentna Suzumara of Japan.
Bravo, ranked number 11 in the FIE Junior points list, opted to not fence in the Junior event to instead focus on the Cadet event, giving his spot to teammate Sam Moelis. The plan worked out well for him, as he defeated Diego Cervantes of Mexico 15-9 in the semi-final bout and teammate Marcello Olivarias 15-11 for the championship title. Olivarias defeated Maciej Bem of Poland fairly handily with a 15-8 bout to make it to the gold medal bout himself.
The final touch of Olivarias vs Bravo
Team USA’s World Championship winning Junior Women’s Foil team consisted of May Tieu, Sylvie Binder, Lauren Scruggs, and Delphine Devore, who all did well in the events of previous days. As a team, they dominated the weekend with no truly close bouts the entire time. USA entered the event as the third seeded team overall, first defeating Hong Kong 44-31; then #6 seed Russia 39-35 in perhaps the tightest match the event for them; then #7 seed Italy, whose individual fencers are a bit stronger than their team seeding lets on, 45-36; and then defeating Singapore 45-30 for Gold. Worth nothing that Singapore was on a particular hot streak all day, coming in at #13 seed and knocking off a number of strong teams to make the final round, but was stopped by an experienced and deep Team USA.
The final touch of USA vs Singapore
The rest of Team USA also put up a strong showing:
- Emily Vermeule earning a Silver in Junior Women’s Epee, losing the final bout 13-15 to Kaylin Sin Yan Hsieh of Hong Kong.
- Robert Vidovszky earning a Silver in Cadet Men’s Saber, losing to Andrei Pastin 10-15 in the final.
- May Tieu earned a Silver in Cadet Women’s Foil, only losing to Yuka Ueno, who won the Junior World Champion title the day before, 14-7.
- Delphine Devore won Bronze also in Cadet Women’s Foil, losing to teammate May Tieu in the semi-final bout 8-15.
- Silver in Junior Team Women’s Saber (Johnson, Tartakovsky, Fox-Gitomer, and MosS), defeating Italy in the semi-finals and losing a nail-biter 44-45 to Russia for the gold.
- Bronze in Junior Team Men’s Saber (Skeete, Cai, Saron, Doddo), losing to the eventual winner Italy in the semi-finals and handily defeating Great Britain 45-21 for third place.
- Alexis Anglade earning Bronze in Cadet Women’s Saber, being stopped by Natalia Botello of Mexico in the semi-final, 8-15.
- Lauren Scruggs winning Bronze in Junior Women’s Foil, losing to Martina Favaretto of Italy 11-15 in the semi-final.
- Silver in Junior Men’s Foil Team, who lost a nail-biter 44-45 to Russia in the round of 4, and defeated Japan 45-34 to secure Bronze.
This brings the US to a first place finish in the overall medal count with 3 Golds, 5 Silvers, and 6 Bronzes, just one Silver medal ahead of second place Italy. Russia rounded out the top 3 with a 2/1/3 count.
Top 8 finishes were all earned by Team USA competitors Sylvie Binder in Junior Women’s Foil, Chloe Fox-Gitomer in Junior Women’s Saber, Isaac Herbst in Cadet Men’s Epee, and Lauren Scruggs in Cadet Womenn’s Foil.