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Ben Natanzon Takes Bronze at Dourdan Men’s Saber Junior World Cup

02/15/2017, 6:45pm CST
By Kristen Henneman

Ben Natanzon (far right) won bronze at the Dourdan Junior World Cup.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Ben Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.) claimed a position on the medal stand at a Junior World Cup for the second time this season with a bronze in Dourdan, France on Saturday.

Natanzon, who ranks sixth in the Junior World Rankings, won gold last October in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The podium finish marks the fourth Junior World Cup medal of the 19-year-old’s career.

After going 5-1 in the pool rounds, the 2016 Junior World Team Member defeated teammate Malcolm Fields (Plainfield, N.J.), 15-10, in the table of 128. In the table of 64, Natanzon overcame Antoine Roesner (FRA), 15-11, before cruising to a 15-4 victory over Alberto Arpino (ITA).

To reach the quarter-finals, Natanzon faced Mark Stepanov (RUS), who in the previous round defeated Team USA’s top-ranked ranked cadet, Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.) Natanzon beat the Russian, 15-10, and out touched William Deary (GBR), 15-14, to guarantee a medal. However, in the semifinals, Natanzon came up short to 2016 Cadet World medalist Vladislav Pozdnyakov (RUS), 15-12, who went on to win gold.

Natanzon’s teammate at last year’s Junior Worlds, Karol Metryka (Linden, N.J.), earned a top-16 result, finishing 11th. Coming off a gold medal at the Buchmann Junior World Cup in Phoenix two weeks earlier, the 2014 Cadet World medalist claimed a 15-9 win over Sebastian Blatz (GER) in his first direct elimination bout.

Following a dominant victory over Hugo Soler (FRA), 15-4, in the 64, Metryka posted a 15-6 win over teammate Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) In the table of 16, Metryka came one touch shy of advancing to the quarters, falling to top-seeded Anatoliy Kostenko (RUS), 15-14.

Walker and Thompson, as well as Filip Dolegiewicz (Park Ridge, Ill.), each placed in the top 32. Walker outscored Hunter Moricz (CAN), 15-13, and Ryo Morita (JPN), 15-10, while Thompson defeated Alexander Holtmann (GER), 15-11, in the 64 and Pablo Trochez (COL), 15-10, in the 32.

Fencing at his second Junior World Cup, Dolegiewicz took his first bout over Duncan Glenadel (FRA), 15-10. He then defeated Federico Riccardi (ITA), 15-11, in the table of 64, but lost to Dario Cavaliere (ITA), 15-7.

Three other members of Team USA made the top 64: Josef Cohen (Barrington, R.I.), Jason Oh (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.) and Daniel Solomon (Setauket, N.Y.) Cohen lost to Kostenko in the 64 after besting Mikolaj Bak (Linden, N.J.) in the 128 while Oh defeated fellow American Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.) before dropping his table of 64 bout to the No. 2 seed, Matteo Neri (ITA). Solomon defeated Thomas Schaich (GER) in the 128 and nearly advanced to the 32, but was edged out 15-14 by top-seeded Jean-Phillippe Patrice (FRA).

With his medal, Natanzon remains in first in the Junior Men’s Saber Team Point standings. Metryka sits in third, trailing 2015 Cadet World Team member Andrew Doddo (South Orange, N.J.) by just over 350 points. Calvin Liang (Chandler, Ariz.), a 2015 Junior World Team bronze medalist, holds the fourth spot, leading Bak by just over 160 points.

On Sunday, Thompson, Dolegiewicz and Fields represented the United States in the team competition, going 3-1 on the day for a fifth-place finish.

Team USA fenced Hungary in the table of 16. Down 15-7 going into the fourth bout, Dolegiewicz outscored his opponent, 10-2, to take a 20-17 lead. The United States went on to win or tie the next four bouts and earn a 45-33 victory.

In the quarter-finals, the U.S. Men’s Saber Team fenced the top-ranked Italians, who took the first three bouts to build a 15-6 advantage. Although Team USA won two of the next three bouts to close the gap to 30-24, the Americans couldn’t complete the comeback and lost the match, 45-33.

In the 5th – 8th place table, Team USA picked up a 45-37 victory. Thompson, who posted a +7 indicator in the match, gave the United States a 10-7 lead after the second bout. The momentum continued for the Americans as they won or tied six of the next seven bouts.

Team USA’s closest match of the day came in the final round with the United States overcoming France, 45-42. Behind by five touches after three rounds, the Americans cut the lead to one at the end of the fifth, 25-24. Three of the match’s four lead changes came in the next three bouts, but Team USA secured a 40-39 lead going into the final bout. Thompson served as the anchor and closed out the match with a 5-3 victory.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Dourdan Men’s Individual Saber Junior World Cup
1. Vladislav Pozdnyakov (RUS)
2. Fares Ferjani (TUN)
3. Lorenz Kempf (GER)
3. Benjamin Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.)
5. Inaki Bravo (ESP)
6. Stefano Ivan Lucchetti (ARG)
7. William Deary (GBR)
8. Anatoliy Kostenko (RUS)

11. Karol Metryka (Linden, N.J.)
22. Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.)
25. Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.)
30. Filip Dolegiewicz (Park Ridge, Ill.)
42. Josef Cohen (Barrington, R.I.)
54. Jason Oh (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
55. Daniel Solomon (Setauket, N.Y.)
68. Zachary Johnson (Chandler, Ariz.)
78. Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.)
98. Mikolaj Bak (Linden, N.J.)
109. Malcolm Fields (Plainfield, N.J.)

Dourdan Men’s Team Saber Junior World Cup
1. Russia
2. Italy
3. Germany
4. Japan
5. USA
6. France
7. Poland
8. Canada

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