Thirty-nine members of Team USA competed in 42 individual events at the 2017 Cadet and Junior World Fencing Championships held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in early April. For the second year, four athletes per country were allowed to enter the individual events in the Junior competition. Prior to last year’s World Championships, only three fencers per country were allowed in the individual Junior events.
It was always going to be difficult to better last year’s performance when three members of Team USA were crowned World Champions; Geoffrey Tourette (Silicon Valley Fencing Center) in Cadet Men’s Foil, Sylvie Binder (Fencing Academy of Westchester) in Cadet Women’s Foil and Sabrina Massialas (Massialas Foundation, M-Team) in Junior Women’s Foil. Despite the lack of gold medals in individual events, the Team overall did better than last year’s Team as illustrated in the accompanying graph.
Catherine Nixon (Los Angeles International Fencing Center) in Junior Women’s Epee, Christopher Walker (Nellya Fencers) in Cadet Men’s Saber and Ryan Griffiths (New York Athletic Club) in Cadet Men’s Epee took silver medals. Natalie Minarik (5T Fencing Club) in Cadet Women’s Foil, Jonathan Piskovatskov (Alliance Fencing Academy) in Cadet Men’s Epee, Elizabeth Tartakovsky (Manhattan Fencing Center) in Cadet Women’s Saber, Karol Metryka (Manhattan Fencing Center) in Junior Men’s Saber and Iman Blow (Peter Westbrook Foundation) in Junior Women’s Foil, won bronze medals.
The eight individual medals accounted for about 19% of Team USA’s placements, a little more than last year as illustrated in the graph below. Thirty-one percent of the athletes finished in the Top 8 compared to 24% last year and 48% finished in the Top 16 compared to 43% last year.
Interestingly, the 39-team members came from 23 clubs located throughout the U.S. It is a testament to the strength of U.S. fencing that members of Team USA came from so many clubs scattered throughout the nation.
While clubs are not “officially” represented at the Worlds, de facto, they are, as the athlete’s personal club coach often attends these events. In addition, the clubs are eager to publicize their athlete’s selection in the national team and the results their fencers achieved at the Worlds. So how did the clubs perform?
Based on a simple weighted point system adopted by the USFA for its national point systems we ranked the performance of athletes by their club representation. In several cases, athletes were “unattached” reflecting NCAA’s requirements. In these cases, we assigned the club representation before the athlete headed off to college. The calculations are designed to reward fencers commensurate with their placement. There is bigger point jumps between Direct Elimination (DE) rounds (for example between a fencer placed 9th and one who placed 8th, due to the fact that the 8th placed fencer went to the next level in the DE bracket.
The #1 club based on athlete performance at the World Championships is Manhattan Fencing Center, the powerhouse saber club based in Manhattan, NY. Founded in 2007 by famed Maestro Yury Gelman, the club has produced World Champions, Olympians and National Champions in every age group. The club fielded four athletes who placed 3rd, 3rd , 8th and 16th. With a 2nd and 6th place, the Los Angeles International Fencing Center, CA ranked second. Ranked third was the New York Athletic Club, NY with a 2nd, 26th , 33rd , 34th and 38th placing.
Ranking of USFA Member Club Performance at Cadet & Junior World Fencing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria 2017
|Rank 2017||Rank 2016||Fencing Club||Top 64 Placement Points|
|1||11||Manhattan Fencing Center, NY||288|
|2||4||Los Angeles International Fencing Center, CA||161|
|3||20||New York Athletic Club, NY||158.5|
|4||10||Alliance Fencing Academy, TX||153.5|
|5||NA||5T Fencers Club, NY||118|
|6||1||Nellya Fencers, GA||102.75|
|7||2||Massialas Foundation (M Team), CA||97.5|
|8||3||Peter Westbrook Foundation||93.25|
|9||13||Fencers Club, NY||84.5|
|10||9||Fencers Club of Arizona, AZ||76.75|
|11||5T||Silicon Valley Fencing Center, CA||69.5|
|12||NA||Marx Fencing Academy, MA||68.5|
|13||19||Advanced Fencing and Fitness Academy, NJ||52|
|13||NA||Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club, NY||52|
|15||NA||Midwest Fencing Academy, IL||51.5|
|16||5T||Fencing Academy of Westchester, NY||50.5|
|17||16||Swords Fencing Studio, CA||50|
|18||12||Oregon Fencing Alliance, OR||32|
|19||NA||New York Fencing Academy, NY||29.5|
|20||NA||Premier Fencing Club, NJ||12.5|
|21||17||Mission Fencing Center, NY||9|
|22||7||Schoolhouse Fencing, UT||7.75|
|23||NA||Fortune Fencing, CA||6|
Overall, the combined Cadet and Junior Foil squad performed better than either the Epee or Saber squads with 707 points compared with 620.25 points for Saber and 497.25 points for Epee. The Women’s squad performed marginally better at 916.25 points compared to 908.25 points for the Men’s squad. The best performing weapon squads were Women’s Foil (384), Men’s Foil (323) and Men’s Saber (321).
Junior Team Performance
Despite the lack of individual gold medals, three of the six U.S. Junior Teams had podium finishes at the Junior World Championships as illustrated.
|Junior Men’s Foil||1st|
|Junior Women’s Foil||2nd|
|Junior Women’s Epee||3rd|
|Junior Women’s Saber||4th|
|Junior Men’s Epee||4th|
|Junior Men’s Saber||5th|
The final medal count for Team USA was eleven which included 1 gold, 4 silver, and six bronze.
- A Visual History of Which Countries Have Dominated Men’s & Women’s Foil at the Cadet & Junior World Championships
- A Visual History of Which Countries Have Dominated Men’s & Women’s Saber at the Cadet & Junior World Championships
- A Visual History of Which Countries Have Dominated Men’s & Women’s Epee at the Cadet & Junior World Championships