POREC, Croatia – The Columbia fencing team continued to make its mark on an international scale, earning a silver medal and several top finishes at the Junior World Championships held in Croatia last week.
Comprising three of four spots on the U.S. women’s foil team, first-years Jackie Dubrovich and Margaret Lu, along with incoming freshman Sarah Taffel, lifted Team USA to its third straight Junior World silver medal in women’s foil. Joined by Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), the quartet began the competition as the top-seeded team and earned a bye into the pool of 16.
Anchoring for the first time, Dubrovich finished off a strong showing for her team as they easily handled Venezuela by a 45-16 score.
In the quarterfinals, Lu, Dubrovich and Kiefer combined to win eight of their nine bouts vs. Korea for a score of 45-36 to advance to the semifinals, where Team USA would take on Canada.
Lu stepped in as the anchor this time as Team USA won or at least tied six of nine bouts, finishing with a 45-36 victory, eyeing the gold medal.
The battle for the gold was a familiar one between the rivalries of the United States and Italy as the two best junior foil teams fought it out on the finals strip.
Team USA started off with a 17-14 lead, but Italy slowing took over, leaving Lu with a nine-point deficit heading into the final bought.
Lu fenced Camilla Mancini of Italy neck-and-neck, as the two were tied with five touches, but Mancini pulled away as Italy won the bout, 45-36.
In the individual foil event, Dubrovich finished a solid fifth, while Margaret Lu finished strongly in 13th place.
On the men’s side, Columbia first-year standout Geoffrey Loss nearly medaled with an impressive fourth-place finish as the U.S. Men’s saber team advanced to the medal rounds for the first time since 2010.