April 12, 2010
BAKU, Azerbaijan – Notre Dame fencers Gerek Meinhardt, Courtney Hurley, Beatriz Almeida and Lian Osier recently competed at the 2010 Junior and Cadet World fencing Championships, which concluded play on April 10 at the Haydar Aliyev Sport and Concert Complex. As members of Team USA, Meinhardt and Hurley each won medals at the event.
Meinhardt (San Fransisco, Calif.) earned a silver medal in the men’s foil individual competition and he was also part of Team USA’s first place showing in men’s foil. In the men’s foil individual competition, Meinhardt received a bye into the last 64, where he downed Maciej Wlosek of Poland, 15-3, in his first elimination bout. Next, Meinhardt knocked-off Moritz Kroplin of Germany, 15-9. To book a place in the quarterfinals, Meinhardt edged Russia’s Roman Kuts, 15-13.
In the quarterfinals, Meinhardt fenced the first of two consecutive bouts against Italian opposition. First he defeated Edoardo Luperi, 15-12, for a place in the semifinals, where he was ultimately bested by Tommaso Lari, 15-13. After trailing early in the semifinals, Meinhardt rallied back to tie the bout at 6-6 and then went ahead, 9-6. But Lari eventually tied it at 12-12 and landed three of the final four touches for win, initially leaving Meinhardt with the bronze. But after Lari was black carded following the gold medal bout, Meinhardt was awarded the silver.
To earn the team gold, Meinhardt helped the United States down Poland (45-32) and Hungary (45-35) to advance to the semifinals, where the USA cruised past Germany, 45-28. Then, in the championship, the USA downed Italy, 45-35.
In the individual women’s epee competition, Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) went 5-1 in pool play and added a +16 indicator to earn the 10th seed and a first round bye into the direct elimination table of 64. She defeated Daria Strelnikov of Israel, 15-3, to advance to the next round. But Hurley lost her next bout to Sweden’s Emma Vaggo, 15-12.
Hurley and Team USA won their first match against Great Britain, 45-36, to advance to the final eight of the women’s epee team competition. In the quarterfinals, Hurley and Team USA downed Sweden, 43-31, and followed with a quarterfinal win over Israel, 45-36. Then, in the championship showdown with Estonia, Team USA was bested by a 45-29 margin to walk away with the silver.
Fighting Irish sophomore Almeida (Chappagua, N.Y.) and freshman Osier (Battle Ground, Wash.) competed in women’s sabre. Almeida, representing her native Brazil, went 3-3 in preliminary pool action and recorded an indicator of +2. In direct elimination, Almeida lost to Lucia Martin-Portugues of Spain in the round of 64, 15-9. Osier went 5-1 in pool play and notched a +13 indicator. In the round of 64, Osier edged Cuba’s Irelis Zayas Nueva, 15-14. But then Osier dropped a 15-10 decision to Amira Ben Chaabane of Tunisia.
The 2010 Junior and Cadet World Championships were organized by the Azerbaijan Fencing Federation and the Azerbaijan Olympic Committee. Qualifying squads sent four person teams in each weapon to compete for individual and team medals in each weapon. The United States finished third in the overall standings for the Junior World Championships, behind Russia and Hungary.
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