Wozniak Earns Second Straight Top-Eight at Baltimore World Cup
Rio Olympic team medalist Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) earned her second straight top-eight international result on Saturday with a fifth-place finish at the Baltimore World Cup.
Wozniak, who placed eighth at the Cancun Grand Prix last month, also returned to a position among the top-16 in the world rankings after this weekend's results.
As the only U.S. fencer to be exempt from pools on Friday, Wozniak drew the 13th seed in the table of 64 on Saturday and pulled away from a tie at 13 with two scores to defeat Karen Ngai Hing Chang (HKG), 15-13.
In the table of 32, Wozniak found herself behind in the second period against Hengyu Yang (CHN), but came back from a 14-12 deficit to score three straight and earn a 15-14 win.
Monica Aksamit finished 6-0 in pools. Photo Credit: Manky / Bizzi
Wozniak drew No. 3 seed Rossella Gregorio (ITA) - a 2017 Senior World Team Champion - in the table of 16. Fencing for the first time since the two were juniors, Wozniak kept the bout within two touches until midway through the second period when she scored six unanswered touches to close the bout with a 15-10 victory.
"I had a lot of fun in that bout. She loves parry-riposte, I love parry-riposte. We were just kind of giving it to each other back and forth so it's bouts like that which remind me why I love the sport," Wozniak said. "It was an awesome bout and I'm glad that I came out on top, but it was just fun and I felt like, win or lose, I had a lot of really good fencing in there. For me, it's just really important to find that good fencing as opposed to trying to get a certain result."
In the next bout, Wozniak came up against Misaki Emura (JPN) - a two-time Cadet World medalist who earned a top-eight result as an 18-year-old at her first Senior World Championships last year.
Emura controlled the start of the bout, taking an 8-1 lead in the first period. While Wozniak split the score in the second, Emura finished the bout, 15-8.
Emura went on to take silver behind Martina Criscio (ITA) who won gold. Charlotte Lembach (FRA) and Sarah Noutcha (FRA) won bronze on a day that saw the top two fencers in the world fall in the first round.
"I'm obviously upset losing that match after upsetting Gregorio and it was such a good match too. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to carry that over into the next match with Emura, but she's fencing great today," Wozniak said after her loss.
"My head was in the game and my heart was there and I had a lot of energy. It just came down to not feeling the distance or not being able to finish my attack. I don't think I was necessarily 100% tactically, but I'm still happy to make a top eight and I know there's a lot of room for improvement."
Ten of Wozniak's teammates earned positions in the table of 64, but did not advance to the later rounds.
For four members of Team USA, the World Cup in Baltimore served as the competition that would lock up their positions on the Junior World Championship Team which will be named in February.
Zara Moss (Cranberry Township, Pa.), Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.) and Elizabeth Tartakovsky (Livingston, N.J.) all secured their spots on the 2018 Junior World Team for the second straight year after qualifying for the table of 64. Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.), a 2017 Cadet World Team member, did not advance to the 64 in Baltimore, but still secured her position on the team due to her top-four ranking over the course of the qualification period.
Fencing in the 64 for the third time this season on the senior circuit, Moss found herself down by two against 2017 Senior World Team Champion Loreta Gulotta (ITA) at the break, but tied the bout at 10 in the second before Gulotta finished with a 5-1 run and a 15-11 victory.
Fox-Gitomer also advanced to the 64 as a senior for the third time this season before being overpowered in her bout against Gregorio who burst out to an 8-0 lead and claimed the bout, 15-4.
A 2017 Cadet World medalist, Tartakovsky nearly earned one of the day's biggest upsets, coming out with an 8-3 lead against two-time individual Senior World medalist Irene Vecchi (ITA). Vecchi tied the bout at 11, however, and went on to reclaim control with a 15-14 win.
Kara Linder (Chandler, Ariz.), a 2016 Cadet World Team Champion who fenced junior team in 2017, had her eyes on qualifying for another Junior World squad with a top finish in Baltimore, but the 17-year-old drew 2016 Olympic Champion Yana Egorian (RUS) in the 64. Although she tied the score at seven, Egorian went on a 7-2 run to end the second period at 15-9.
Two-time Cadet World Team member Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.) also fell short of Junior World qualification. The Ohio State sophomore came within a touch of Michela Battiston (ITA) at 12-11, but Battiston answered with three straight touches to take the win, 15-11.
Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.), a member of the 2016 Olympic Team that won bronze, was upset by Noutcha who outscored the American, 7-3, to end the bout at 15-9 before going on to win bronze.
Two-time Senior World team medalist Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) found herself challenged by Bhavani Devi Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman (IND) in the 64. Stone remained within a touch of her opponent at 10-9 before the Indian fencer scored five of the next seven touches and earned a 15-11 win.
A 2016 Division I National Champion, Kamali Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) led her bout against Criscio, 8-6, at the break, but the Italian broke away with a tie at 11 in the second with four straight touches as she claimed the bout, 15-11, before going on to win gold.
Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.), a two-time Junior World team medalist, trailed Sooyeon Choi (KOR) by five touches at 11-6 before going taking three straight to cut the Korean's lead to two at 11-9. Russo stayed in the bout and coming within one of tying Choi at 13-12, but Choi took the win, 15-13.
Leanne Singleton-Comfort (Marysville, Calif.), a junior at the Air Force Academy, drew eventual silver medalist Emura in the first round and kept the bout to two before Emura pulled away with a 7-2 run in the second period and a 15-8 victory.
Visit www.usafencingresults.com for complete results.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows, including athletes who were eliminated prior to the table of 64:
Baltimore Women's Individual Sabre World Cup
1. Martina Criscio (ITA)
2. Misaki Emura (JPN)
3. Charlotte Lembach (FRA)
4. Sarah Noutcha (FRA)
5. Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
6. Sooyeon Choi (KOR)
7. Olga Nikitina (RUS)
8. Alina Komashchuk (UKR)
38. T. Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.)
41. Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
43. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
44. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
54. T. Kamali Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.)
56. Leanne Singleton-Comfort (Marysville, Calif.)
57. Zara Moss (Cranberry Township, Pa.)
58. Elizabeth Tartakovsky (Livingston, N.J.)
62. Kara Linder (Chandler, Ariz.)
63. Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
66. Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
78. Gracie Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
83. Sydney Hirsch (Woodbridge, Conn.)
91. Veronica Czyzewski (Caldwell, N.J.)
92. Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.)
96. Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
100. Alexis Browne (New City, N.Y.)
101. Maia Chamberlain (Menlo Park, Calif.)
103. Marta Lasota (Silver Spring, Md.)
104. Celina Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
106. Mikaela Avakian (Arcadia, Calif.)
123. Daniella Timofeyev (Antelope, Calif.)
125. Keli Izenson (Atlanta, Ga.)
126. Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio)
128. Aleksandra Strzalkowski (Littleton, Colo.)
132. Skyla Powers (Atlanta, Ga.)
134. Amber White (Maplewood, N.J.)
139. Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
146. Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.)
158. Casey Chan (Cresskill, N.J.)
161. Imogen Harrison (Portland, Ore.)
Contact: Nicole Jomantas, 719.761.7909 , Mail: N.Jomantas@usfencing.org
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