The U.S. Women’s Epee Team won bronze and returned to the World Cup podium for the first time since 2012 on Sunday in Legnano, Italy.
Fencing for valuable Olympic team qualification points, Team USA upset World and Olympic medalists to win four matches and place third in a field of 26 teams. London Olympic team bronze medalists Kelley and Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) were joined by teammates Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) and Katarzyna Trzopek (Pacifica, Calif.)
The Americans got the tournament off to a good start with a commanding win over Finland in the table of 32 where Team USA won or tied seven bouts for a 45-35 win.
Team USA fenced China, the reigning Senior World Champions in the quarter-finals and kept the bout match low-scoring to hold a 14-13 lead after the first six bouts. Holmes and Kelley Hurley blanked the seventh and the eighth bouts, holding Jialu Hao and Yiwen Sun, the individual gold medalist in Legnano, each scoreless. Again, the match would come down to a three-minute race between Courtney Hurley and World No. 1 Anqi Xu in the anchor bout. Xu couldn’t keep pace with Hurley who won the match, 14-10, to give Team USA the win, 28-23.
In the semifinals, Russia built a 34-20 lead after the first eight bouts. Courtney Hurley put up 12 points against Violetta Kolobova – the bronze medalist from the individual competition in Italy. Hurley couldn’t close the gap, however, and Russia took the match, 45-32. The Russians would go on to win gold and move into the No. 4 position in the world rankings.
Fencing for bronze, France led the final match, 18-16, going into the anchor bout between Courtney Hurley and Marie Florence Candassamy. Hurley went on a 12-4 run against the Frenchwoman to lock down the medal for the Americans with a 28-22 win.
Following a gold medal win at the Pan Ams and a sixth-place finish at the Johannesburg World Cup, the U.S. Women’s Epee Team currently holds a top-four position in the Olympic Rankings.
Legnano Women’s Epee Team World Cup
For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Fencing Communications Manager, at 719.761.7909 (cell) or N.Jomantas@usfencing.org.