Brian Park, rising sixth grader (on right in photo) earned a bronze medal at the North American Cup in Anaheim in early July. He fenced in the Youth-10 Men’s Foil event on July 4, finishing third out of 122 entries. He is now ranked 25th in the U.S. in his age bracket.
In the tournament, Park, who fences at Silicon Valley Fencing Center in Los Altos and trains with the owners, Aleksei and Yuliya Murugin, won his pool with five victories and one defeat, seeding 22 going in to the elimination rounds. Park beat his first two elimination opponents easily, then came up against some of the toughest fencers in his age group in the country, starting with Kenji Bravo, who was seeded eighth out of pools and is ranked 14th in the U.S. Elimination bouts for those age 10 and under are of two out of three five-touch encounters.
In each of Park’s first two elimination bouts he won the first two encounters to advance; in the bout with Bravo it took all three encounters. Park won the first encounter 5-3, lost the second 2-5 then came back strong to win the tie breaker 5-0. Park advanced again after beating James Chen, ranked 11th in the U.S., then fenced a very tough bout with Leo Holmes, ranked fourth in the U.S., losing the first encounter 5-4, but overcoming that deficit with back-to-back wins 5-3, 5-3, to lock in a top-three medal.
Park was finally eliminated by Marcello Olivares, who took second, and is ranked number two in the U.S. Park, who has fenced for about three years, has only competed in two national events and four are totaled for national rankings. If Park continues to fencing well nationally his national ranking will rise rapidly. Congrats and best of luck in the upcoming season!