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Fencing: Four players lead Irish at Worlds

Luke Mansour | Friday, April 23, 2010

Notre Dame once again had the chance to show off its world-class talent last week at the 2010 Junior World Championships. Notre Dame was well-represented, sending four fencers: sophomores Gerek Meinhardt, Courtney Hurley and Beatriz Almeida, and freshman Lian Osier. Meinhardt and Hurley turned in impressive performances as both medaled at the championships.

Meinhardt recorded a silver medal in the men’s foil competition, and was also an integral part to the United States claiming first in the team tournament. Meinhardt was tested in both the fourth round in the quarterfinal round. To claim his spot in the quarterfinals, Meinhardt edged Russia’s Roman Kuts 15-13, then narrowly defeated Italy’s Edwardo Luperi 15-12 to reach the semifinal round.

Despite taking a 9-6 lead in the semifinal round, Meinhardt was ultimately defeated by a score of 15-12.

Team USA allowed Meinhardt to gain his revenge as he helped them defeated Italy in the team competition by a score of 45-35.

Meanwhile, Hurley lost in the round of 32 to Sweden’s Emma Vaggo by a score of 15-12, but her performances in the team competition allowed her to a earn a silver medal with Team USA in the women’s epee competition.

Almeida and Osier both competed in women’s sabre. Osier went 3-3 in pool play competition, while Osier went 5-1 and lost in the elimination round of 64.
Team USA finished third overall in the World Championships, losing to Russia and Hungary.

The youth represented in the tournament give the Irish a lot of hope that they’ll be able to improve upon last year’s disappointing third place finish in the NCAA Tournament. All four players provide a lot of promise and their experience at high-level tournaments such as these will only help the Notre Dame fencing team moving forward.