2023 Plovdiv Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships Declared “A Great Success”

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria, April 1-9, 2023—The 2023 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships have completed 18 events over nine days in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, including men’s and women’s individual and team competitions in epee, foil and sabre. The Championships were held at the Plovdiv International Fair, where they have been hosted by the Bulgarian Fencing Federation four times since 2004.

A Success Overall

“This year represents continued growth in youth fencing participation at the World Championships”, said FIE Interim President Emmanuel Katsiadakis, “with more than 1500 athletes participating from 100 countries. It has been a great success.”

At the opening ceremony of the competition, on April 1, Bulgarian Fencing Federation President and FIE Executive Committee member Ms. Velichka Hristeva gave an opening speech, followed by Mr. Georgi Tityukov, Plovdiv Deputy Mayor of Sport, Youth and Social Activities. On April 4, the President of Bulgaria, Mr. Rumen Radev, visited the Championships to welcome everyone to Plovdiv and wish them success.

On April 9, the ninth and final day, a ceremony was held to end the Championships, with FIE Interim President Emmanuel Katsiadakis delivering a speech and declaring the event officially closed. The FIE flag was passed from Bulgarian Fencing Federation President Ms. Velichka Hristeva to Mr. Abdullah Alsunaid, Secretary-General of the Saudi Arabia Fencing Federation, which will host the 2024 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships. Also in attendance at the ceremony was Plovdiv Deputy Mayor Tityukov.

Global Participation in All Weapons

This was the largest number of participants in the annual Championships’ history, representing an 11 percent increase over the previous year. Of the 155 member countries in the International Fencing Federation, 65 percent (100) federations participated in this year’s Championships.

Of the three weapons used in fencing, including junior and cadet men’s and women’s individual and team events at the Championships, 39% competed in epee, with 33% in foil and 28% in sabre. Each weapon had three days of competition in a row, with each three-day cycle including a first day of men’s and women’s individual junior events, followed by a day of individual cadet events and ending with a day of junior team events. Overall, 57% of this year’s fencers were male and 43% were female.

Of note, fencers from several countries achieved top-eight results at the Championships in various weapons and categories, including Australia, Niger, Kuwait, Chinese Taipei and the Virgin Islands. Of these, two earned medals, including a bronze in cadet women’s individual epee for Li-Hsiang Hung from Chinese Taipei (who also competed in junior women’s individual epee) and a silver in cadet men’s epee for the Virgin Islands’ Kruz Schembri (who also competed in junior team foil, junior individual foil, junior individual epee and cadet individual foil (6th place)). This was the first medal in any World Championships for the Virgin Islands or Chinese Taipei.

FIE Development Programmes

Several existing and new FIE development programmes participated in educational and informational activities at the Plovdiv Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships.

The Donate Your Fencing Gear! programme continues to receive donated, good-quality fencing gear from athletes, coaches and manufacturers, which is distributed to recipient countries that have limited resources for equipment and are working to give athletes opportunities to build their fencing careers. This year, five countries were named recipients, including Pakistan, Lebanon, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan and Senegal. In addition, thanks to generous donations from fencing manufacturers Allstar and Uhlmann, the FIE was able to add more recipient countries to acquire equipment. Representatives and athletes from El Salvador, Venezuela, Panama, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, Syria and Libya were all in Plovdiv and able to take equipment home with them to benefit fencing in their respective countries.

The FIE celebrated the first-annual Fencing for the Planet day on April 8, where athletes, coaches, clubs and federations worldwide are encouraged to practice environmentally conscientious and sustainable activities and programmes to promote a cleaner, healthier planet for the benefit of all. An ongoing effort to encourage any individuals or organizations to pursue sustainability programmes is underway, with examples being presented on FIE social media platforms such as the YouTube FIE Channel and others. Members of the Fencing for the Planet working committee, led by FIE Executive Committee member Ana Irene Delgado Guerra, along with Plovdiv Deputy Mayor Tityukov and other FIE executives and athletes planted a tree in a city park to ceremoniously lead the global effort.

Representatives from the FIE Fair-Play Council were on-hand to educate and engage athletes in the concepts of Fair Play in sports. Councilmember Alejandra Jhonay Benitez Romero (VEN) said, “we want young fencers to understand the important concepts of unity and the spirit of sport. Everyone wants to win, but off-piste we are a global family united by fencing and we are friendly with one another. And we also play our sport in a fair way.” Athletes from diverse countries played educational games together at the stand to unify them and create a spirit of teamwork and collaboration.

The FIE Safeguarding programme had officers attending the entire nine days of competition, available to any athletes, coaches, officials or staff. “Our primary purpose at the Championships is to educate young athletes about their rights and to create environments free from harassment and abuse”, said Georgina Usher, one of the safeguarding officers who is also President of the FIE Women and Fencing Council. “We ran a scenario-based quiz educating everyone on different types of abuse and harassment, and when to report. We also want to inform everyone of our collective duty of care for young athletes.”

The FIE hosted its annual Junior and Cadet Training Camp, which brought 20 athletes from 20 countries to Plovdiv to participate in training with elite-level coaches in all three weapons. The camp gave them six days of training per weapon, followed by the fencers competing in the World Championships. The FIE pays for all of their expenses, including competition entry fees. Two of this year’s camp participants, Chinese Taipei’s Li-Hsiang Hung and Virgin Islands’ Kruz Schembri, each achieved high-level results in an event (see reference above in “Global Participation in All Weapons”).

Winners and Medal Counts

The United States led the overall and gold medal count at the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships with a total of 15 (gold, 8; silver, 2; bronze, 5), followed by Hungary with 9 (gold, 4; bronze, 5), Egypt with 5 (gold, 2; silver, 1; bronze, 2) and Italy with 7 (gold, 1; silver, 4; bronze, 2). The medal count for the Championships included the following 23 countries:

Top Eight Medallists at the 2023 Plovdiv Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships (All Categories):

Day 1

Junior Men’s Individual Sabre

1. Colin Heathcock (USA, gold)
2. Mao Kokubo (JPN, silver)
3. Emanuele Nardella (ITA, bronze)
3. Shido Tsumori (JPN, bronze)
5. Marco Mastrullo (ITA)
6. Evann Jean Abba Girault (NIG)
7. Heegeun Hwang (KOR)
8. Xiaopeng Yin (CHN)

Junior Women’s Individual Sabre

1. Magda Skarbonkiewicz (USA, gold)
2. Yuina Kaneko (JPN, silver)
3. Nisanur Erbil (TÜR, bronze)
3. Anna Spiesz (HUN, bronze)
5. Veronika Vasileva (AUS)
6. Kira Keszei (HUN)
7. Cyrielle Rioux (FRA)
8. Zoe Kim (USA)

Day 2

Cadet Men’s Individual Sabre

1. William Morrill (USA, gold)
2. Benedykt Denkiewicz (POL, silver)
3. Ahmed Hesham (EGY, bronze)
3. Taylor Chon (USA, bronze)
5. Enes Talha Kalender (TÜR)
6. Furkan Yaman (TÜR)
7. Arda Tanerler (TÜR)
8. Mohammed Abdulkareem (KUW)

Cadet Women’s Individual Sabre

1. Emese Domonkos (HUN, gold)
2. Zarifa Huseynova (AZE, silver)
3. Jenna Shoman (USA, bronze)
3. Nargiza Jaksybaeva (UZB, bronze)
5. Nadin Toth (HUN)
6. Sophie Liu (USA)
7. Keira D-Sallows (GBR)
8. Benedetta Stangoni (ITA)

Day 3

Junior Men’s Team Sabre

1. USA (gold)
2. Egypt (silver)
3. Romania (bronze)
4. Uzbekistan
5. France
6. Spain
7. Italy
8. Japan

Junior Women’s Team Sabre

1. Hungary (gold)
2. Italy (silver)
3. Bulgaria (bronze)
4. Uzbekistan
5. USA
6. France
7. Canada
8. Türkiye

Day 4

Junior Men’s Individual Foil

1. Damiano Di Veroli (ITA, gold)
2. Zhaoran Zeng (CHN, silver)
3. Samarth Kumbla (USA, bronze)
3. Gergo Szemes (HUN, bronze)
5. Kazuki IImura (JPN)
6. Eliot Chagnon (FRA)
7. Mateusz Kwiatkowski (POL)
8. Yi-Tung Chen (TPE)

Junior Women’s Individual Foil

1. Zander Rhodes (USA, gold)
2. Lauren Scruggs (USA, silver)
3. Aurora Grandis (ITA, bronze)
3. Yunjia Zhang (CAN, bronze)
5. Carolina Stutchbury (GBR)
6. Emily Jing (USA)
7. Ruping Zhang (CHN)
8. Yue Song (CHN)

Day 5

Cadet Men’s Individual Foil

1. Yifan Guo (CHN, gold)
2. Hyeokjun Choi (KOR, silver)
3. Abdelrahman Tolba (EGY, bronze)
3. Mattia Rubin (HUN, bronze)
5. Branislav Lancaric (SVK)
6. Kruz Schembri (ISV)
7. Elia Pasin (ITA)
8. Maximo Azuela (MEX)

Cadet Women’s Individual Foil

1. Amelie Tsang (GBR, gold)
2. Greta Collini (ITA, silver)
3. Emily Jing (USA, bronze)
3. Shun Yat Wong (HKG, bronze)
5. Nadia Hayes (CAN)
6. Jia Chen (USA)
7. Minchae Shin (KOR)
8. Gili Kuritzky (ISR)

Day 6

Junior Men’s Team Foil

1. USA (gold)
2. taly (silver)
3. Japan (bronze)
4. Hungary
5. Uzbekistan
6. Poland
7. Great Britain
8. Germany

Junior Women’s Team Foil

1. USA (gold)
2. taly (silver)
3. China (bronze)
4. Poland
5. Japan
6. Great Britain
7. Ukraine
8. Romania

Day 7

Junior Men’s Individual Epee

1. Mohamed Yasseen (EGY, gold)
2. Theo Brochard (SUI, silver)
3. Samuel Imrek (USA, bronze)
3. Soma Somody (HUN, bronze)
5. Nicholas Zhang (CAN)
6. Mohamed Elsayed (EGY)
7. Marko Kuhto (FIN)
8. Fedor Khaperskiy (ISR)

Junior Women’s Individual Epee

1. Hadley Husisian (USA, gold)
2. Alicja Klasik (POL, silver)
3. Anna Maksymenko (UKR, bronze)
3. Nicole Feygin (ISR, bronze)
5. Subin Kim (KOR)
6. Lucrezia Paulis (ITA)
7. Dilnaz Murzataeva (UZB)
8. Grace Hu (CAN)

Day 8

Cadet Men’s Individual Epee

1. Domonkos Pelle (HUN, gold)
2. Kruz Schembri (ISV, silver)
3. Rayan Rami Rozpide (ESP, bronze)
3. Noam Duchene (FRA, bronze)
5. Dohyun Kim (KOR)
6. Ole Petersen (GER)
7. Rang Lee (TPE)
8. Edvin Jahu (EST)

Cadet Women’s Individual Epee

1. Blanka Virag Nagy (HUN, gold)
2. Mizuki Homma (JPN, silver)
3. Nicole Xuan (CAN, bronze)
3. Li-Hsiang Hung (TPE, bronze)
5. Hana Eleraky (EGY)
6. Gwendoline Laharotte (FRA)
7. Kamila Jonynaite (LTU)
8. Mihaela Stefanova (BUL)

Day 9

Junior Men’s Team Epee

1. Egypt (gold)
2. Switzerland (silver)
3. Hungary (bronze)
4. USA
5. Israel
6. Italy
7. Estonia
8. Korea

Junior Women’s Team Epee

1. Poland (gold)
2. USA (silver)
3. China (bronze)
4. France
5. Italy
6. Ukraine
7. Israel
8. Uzbekistan

The 2023 Plovdiv Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships were available to audiences worldwide and livestreamed on the FIE YouTube FIE Fencing Channel and complete and official results for the event may be found on the FIE website.

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