Woo took 19th in his first Junior World Championships (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
PLOVDIV, Bulgaria - Three Harvard fencers made the trip to Plovdiv, Bulgaria last week to compete at the Junior World Championships April 3-12. Michael Woo and Nina van Loon won Silver medals in their respective weapon team competitions with USA, while Aliya Itzkowitz fenced on team Great Britain.
Woo highlighted all Crimson fencers performances as the sophomore finished 19th and helped the red, white and blue capture silver. The sophomore foil fencer went unbeaten, 6-0, in the pool play with a plus-20 scoring differential to seed fourth into the elimination tables. After receiving a bye in the opening round, Woo downed Bogdan Dascalu of Russia, 15-2, to advance to the round of 32 where he met Kyosuke Matuyama. The 36th-seeded Japanese foil fencer ended Woo's run in a heated 11-10 bout.
On the women's side, van Loon also won silver with team USA. Individually, she finished the pools at 4-2 to seed 35 into direct eliminations. The epeeist downed Rita Abou Jaoudeh of Lebanon, 15-8, in the 128, before falling to 30th-ranked Lizaveta Khlystunova of Bulgaria, 15-9. The sophomore from Boulder, Colo., finished 41st overall.
Itzkowitz represented Great Britain with a 34th-place performance. The sophomore notched four victories and a plus-10 index in the sabre pool to qualify as the 27th seed for the ranking round. The London, England native drew a bye into the table of 64, where she was upset by Italy's Sofia Ciaraglia, 15-11.