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Team USA Sweeps Men’s and Women’s Golds in Pisa

01/28/2014, 2:00am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Silver medalist Jarred Gou and gold medalist George Haglund.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For the first time in the history of the Pisa Foil Cadet European Cup, U.S. athletes won gold in both the men’s and women’s events in Italy this weekend.

Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.) claimed the women’s title on Saturday and George Haglund (Califon, N.J.) followed with a win in the men’s competition on Sunday.

Team USA won four medals overall as Nicole Vaiani (Belmar, N.J.) added a bronze and Jarred Gou (Saratoga, Calif.) took silver.

Blow, Vaiani and teammate Stefanie Deschner (Mechanicsville, Va.) started the competition on a strong note as the only three athletes to go undefeated in the pools.

Seeded first in the direct elimination tables, Blow defeated teammate Mariah Summers (Tigard, Ore.) after a bye into the table of 64.

In the table of 32, Blow took out 2013 Cadet World medalist Gabriela Cecchini (BRA), 15-10, and won her next bout against Alessandra Conti (ITA), 15-7.

Vaiani also earned a bye and defeated Hilit Nehaysi (ISR), 15-11, and Andrea Breteau (ESP), 11-7, to advance to her first table of 16 bout on the European circuit.

Vaiani outtouched Lodovica Bicego (ITA), a silver medalist at the Manchester Cadet European Cup in September, by a score of 7-6, to move on to the quarter-finals where she, Blow and teammate Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.) would take on a lineup of Italians.

Blow made quick work of her quarter-final opponent, Lara Bertola (ITA), to win the bout, 15-4, and Vaiani defeated Virginia Puccini (ITA), 7-4.

Fencing in her second Cadet European quarter-final this season, Viqueira lost to Eleonora Dini (ITA), 10-9, and finished in sixth place.

Blow defeated Dini, 15-10, in the semifinals to advance to her second Cadet European final of the season.

Vaiani lost her bout to Elisabetta Bianchin (ITA), 13-7, but secured Team USA’s first medal of the weekend with a bronze.

Bianchin’s run came to an end in the gold medal final when Blow won the bout, 15-12, to secure her first international title.

In the men’s competition, Gou earned the fourth seed in the direction tables as one of five Americans to go undefeated in the pools.

While Gou received a bye into the table of 64, Haglund’s 3-2 pool result meant he fenced in the table of 128 where he won his bout against Filippo Mariotti (ITA), 15-9.

Haglund won his next bout, 15-8, over Pierre Antoine Materne (BEL) and defeated Riccardo Baleani (ITA), 15-10, in the table of 32. He went on to qualify for the quarter-finals after a 15-8 win over Aaron Ahn (Los Angeles, Calif.)

In the table of 64, Gou defeated Luis Alfonso Delbergue (ESP), 15-9. Gou defeated Tyler Reynolds (AUS), 15-6, in his next bout and edged his M Team teammate, Julian Knodt (Palo Alto, Calif.), by a score of 15-14, to advance to his second Cadet European Cup quarter-final of the season.

Team USA earned a total of four top-eight finishes as Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.) and Sidarth Kumbla (San Jose, Calif.) qualified for the quarters of an international tournament for the first time.

The Americans secured two medals when Haglund defeated Tourette, 15-12, and Gou won his bout against Guillaume Bianchi (ITA), 15-10.

Kumbla finished just behind Tourette, in seventh place, after a 15-5 loss to Matteo Valtriani (ITA).

Haglund gave up just three touches to Matteo Valtriani (ITA) as he won the bout, 15-3, and set up a final bout against Gou who defeated Petar Files (CRO), 15-7, in his semi.

In a rematch of their cadet final from the December NAC, Haglund turned the tables with a 15-9 win over Gou.

The gold medal is the first podium finish for Haglund at a Cadet European Cup and Gou’s silver is his third medal on the Cadet European circuit.

Click here to view complete women’s results.

Click here to view complete men’s results.  

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Pisa Women’s Foil Cadet European Cup
1. Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

2. Elisabetta Bianchin (ITA)
3. Eleonora Dini (ITA)
3. Nicole Vaiani (Belmar, N.J.)
5. Lara Bertola (ITA)
6. Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.)
7. Alessandra Petrignani (ITA)
8. Virginia Puccini (ITA)

12. Elyssa Kleiner (San Francisco, Calif.)
17. Stefanie Deschner (Mechanicsville, Va.)
18. Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.)
28. Anna Zhou (Lexington, Mass.)
32. Finnula Mageras (Darien, Conn.)
35. Shani Edwards (Lexington, Ky.)
42. Sylvie Binder (Armonk, N.Y.)
50. Xiao-Qing Tsai (Salt Lake City, Utah)
51. Natalie Yang (Colts Neck, N.Y.)
58. Wei Chee Chen (Birmingham, Ala.)
60. Mariah Summers (Tigard, Ore.)
65. Olivia Koslow (San Francisco, Calif.)
75. Kennedy Lovelace (Frisco, Texas)

Pisa Men’s Foil Cadet European Cup
1. George Haglund (Califon, N.J.)
2. Jarred Gou (Saratoga, Calif.)

3. Petar Files (CRO)
3. Matteo Valtriani (ITA)
5. Guillaume Bianchi (ITA)
6. Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)
7. Sidarth Kumbla (San Jose, Calif.)

8. Sebastiano Bicego (ITA)

9. Aaron Ahn (Los Angeles, Calif.)
11. Nolen Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y.)
13. Julian Knodt (Palo Alto, Calif.)
24. Brian Howard (Petaluma, Calif.)
25. Cameron Allen (Newtown, Pa.)
28. Julian Fevry (St. Albans, N.Y.)
33. Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.)
35. Duncan Rheingans-Yoo (Columbia, Md.)
37. Joseph Marino (Rockville Centre, N.Y.)
43. Albert Zhang (Annandale, N.J.)
45. Justin Kang (Fullerton, Calif.)
46. Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
55. Aiden Ahn (Los Angeles, Calif.)
56. Tyler Marcos (Purdys, N.Y.)
57. Zohaib Mannan (Short Hills, N.Y.)
95. Nicola Sirito (Pearland, Texas)

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