Updated: Feb 26
Sterling Fencer Michaela Joyce (14) and Coach Ilya Lobanenkov make history for USA Fencing in podium sweep at the Bratislava Cadet World Cup.
In an unprecedented turn of events, Team USA1 (Michaela Joyce, 14, of Sterling VA; Jackie Khrol, 15, of Long Island, NY; Jessica Lin, 15, of Bernard Township, NJ; Amanda Pirkowski, 15, of Longwood, FL; Coached by Tsanko Hantov) and Team USA2 (Hadley Hussisian, 15, of Tysons Corner, VA; Ariana Rouche, 15, of Houston, TX; Sarah Lurye, 15, of Chicago, IL; Yasmine Khamis, 13, of Dallas, TX; Coached by Ilya Lobanenkov) meet in the Gold Medal round at the strongest Cadet (Under 17) World Cup of the European Circuit.
Team USA1 and Team USA2 defeated fencing powerhouses like Russia, Poland, Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic on their way to an exiting match in the Final. Michaela Joyce was on Team USA1 and took Silver in the team event, after a strong 8th place finish in the Individual event the day before. Michaela trains at the Cardinal Fencing Academy in Sterling VA and is a freshman at Madeira High School in Great Falls, VA.
"It was an amazing day for US Fencing. The two US teams meeting in the gold medal round shows the true potential of this generation to shine on the World stage and eventually the Olympics." - Coach Ilya Lobanenkov, Joyce's personal coach and coach of Team USA2, the eventual winner of the competition.
FIE (International Fencing Federation, http://fie.org/) World Cups are competitions held multiple times a year to determine which fencers represent their countries at the World Championships later that year. Epee fencing is an Olympic and NCAA combat sport where the athlete's actions are registered on an electronic scoring machine. Epee is a point weapon, where the goals is to hit first anywhere on the body.