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Fencer Amita wins S’pore’s first-ever Junior World Cup medal

SINGAPORE — After claiming the SEA Games gold in the women’s foil in Kuala Lumpur, up-and-coming young fencer Amita Berthier continued her winning run on the piste on Monday morning (Nov 20), as the 16-year-old won a silver medal at the Guatemala Junior World Cup to become the first Singaporean to win an individual medal at the junior fencing series.

Amita Berthier (left) with the other medallists at the Guatemala Junior World Cup. Photo: Fencing Singapore

Amita Berthier (left) with the other medallists at the Guatemala Junior World Cup. Photo: Fencing Singapore

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SINGAPORE — After claiming the SEA Games gold in the women’s foil in Kuala Lumpur, up-and-coming young fencer Amita Berthier continued her winning run on the piste on Monday morning (Nov 20), as the 16-year-old won a silver medal at the Guatemala Junior World Cup to become the first Singaporean to win an individual medal at the junior fencing series.

Up against young fencers from more than 10 countries, the national fencer was unbeatable in the poules (pool), topping her group before sweeping past three rivals in the knock-out stages to qualify for the final. But the teenager could not get past the final hurdle against 19-year-old Lydia Casillas of Mexico, losing the bout 11-15 to her older opponent.

Although she was pipped to the gold, Amita said she was satisfied with her progress as she had finished sixth last year after losing an elimination bout to Casillas.

“I’m pleased with this result, and it’s going to motivate me to work even harder and to stay focused on my goals,” said Amita.

“I love the exhilaration of standing on the podium, it never ceases to surprise me every time I find myself there. The challenge of facing fencers with different styles is what I look forward to every time. It gives me the opportunity to keep improving my skill sets for the tournaments ahead.”

Amita’s historic medal in Guatemala is the latest achievement in what has been a standout 2017 season for the promising young athlete. In April, Amita won bronze in the cadet women’s foil event at the World Junior and Cadet Championships, becoming the second Singaporean to win a medal in the world’s top youth fencing tournament. Three months later, the 16-year-old made her mark on the senior stage, as she progressed to the last-32 of the World Fencing Championships in a best-ever performance by a Singaporean fencer. Her excellent run of form continued into the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, where she won gold in the women’s foil.

Since making the move to Boston in October 2016 to train with former Singapore Sports School coach Ralf Bissdorf at the Marx Fencing Academy, Amita has notched signficant results on the regional and international stage. As a result, Amita’s world ranking has risen from world No 275 to No 83 in the span of a year.

After winning a silver in Guatemala, Amita is also projected to rise to her highest-ever world junior ranking of 12th. In September this year, Amita became the first Singaporean to break into the top 15 of the junior world rankings. She started the year at 33rd.

“Amita has added another great result to what is already an exceptional year,” said Bissdorf.

“The competition here in Guatemala is smaller than the World Cups in Europe but the best fencers from Central and South America are here. As they don’t travel to Europe often, they fight extra hard here.
“Last year Amita finished sixth and this year she has achieved her first Top 4 in a Junior World Cup. This is good progress and we continue to stay ahead of the curve in her quest to become a world class fencer.”

 

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