Chaz Smith now top-ranked
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DIAMOND SPRINGS — Chaz Smith, of the Hangtown Saber Club in Diamond Springs, was second in the Veteran 50 women’s saber event in late October at the Veterans World Championships in Krems, Austria.
Competing in her first Veterans Worlds and ranked fourth on the four-person US squad, Smith was the 15th seed in the event.
“My coach couldn’t go to Austria with me, and I was kind of anxious at the start of the tournament,” Smith said.
Dominating her pool, she won all five of her bouts and had only three total touches scored against her.
“I faced the bronze medalist from last year’s Vet Worlds in my first bout of the day. After I beat her 5-1, I started to relax a little, and think that my odds for success in the event might not be that bad,” Smith said.
Her pool performance earned Smith the No. 1 seed into the direct elimination phase. After a first-round bye, she won her first direct elimination bout against Caron Hale of Great Britain 10-7 to advance to the quarterfinals. There she met again last year’s bronze medalist, Sylvie Zini of France, and dispatched her 10-5. Smith won her semifinal bout against Claudia Bandieri of Italy 10-7 to qualify for the gold-medal match.
“My opponent in the finals was the 2011 Veteran World Champion Friederike Janshen of Germany, and she was aggressive from the start,” Smith said. “I think I got back on my heels early and never really recovered.”
Smith lost to Janshen 10-5 to claim the silver medal. Together with the US National Veteran 50 title she won in July, Smith is now the No. 1 ranked saber fencer in the US in her age group as well as No. 2 in the world.
Domestically, Hangtown notched several other significant results over that same weekend. In St. Louis at a USA Fencing Super Youth Circuit, a national points event for fencers under 14, Camino’s Julian Lamers-Noble faced a formidable field of 54 fencers.
“Over the course of the day, Julian knocked out some top fencers that are used to making it to the podium,” Hangtown Head Coach Ted Smith said. “Earning a bronze medal was a real confidence builder for him.”
In San Francisco, Curtis Andrus fought to a silver medal in a very competitive Bay Cup for fencers with a D classification or above. Evan Roberts, 16, of Placerville, made the finals in both Bay Cup events he entered — placing 5th in the event for fencers with a D or lower classification, and 8th in the event for fencers under 20.