Sherborn native Eli Dershwitz holds his trophy from the Warsaw World Cup while standing with coach Zoran Tulum. (Photo courtesy of Zeta Fencing)
The U.S. Men's Saber Team won another gold medal at the season's last fencing World Cup in Warsaw, Poland, and one of the members of the team was Sherborn resident Eli Dershwitz, who is currently ranked 13th in the world.
Under the leadership of U.S. National Men's Saber Coach Zoran Tulum, the fencers had an outstanding season and claimed two golds and one silver medal out of four World Cups. They also won the Pan-American Championships and placed fifth at last year's World Championships.
While there will be no team event for men's saber at the Rio Olympics due to a rotating schedule for fencing disciplines, team USA is now the top seed at the World Team Championships which will be held as part of the Olympic test events in Rio de Janeiro during April 25-27. Dershwitz and his teammates have their eyes on the World Championship title, which would be a first.
"Going into World Championships as the number one, we have a very realistic chance to medal. If we fence well and the team holds together like they did during the season, we have a true chance to become World Champions for the first time in U.S. history,” said national team coach Zoran Tulum.
At the Olympic Games in Rio, men's saber fencers will only compete individually. This means that a maximum of two fencers per country can qualify. One U.S. spot has already been secured, but Dershwitz has his eye on the other spot. He will have to finalize his qualification at the season's last qualifying event in Seoul, Korea this March.
"Eli is number 11 on the Olympic qualifying list and it is almost impossible for him to miss his qualification at this point,” commented Tulum.
Tulum has been working with Dershwitz since he started fencing 11 years ago.
"Eli's world ranking is remarkable. Born in 1995, he is the youngest fencer among the world's top 25."
Dershwitz is also the reigning U19 World Champion and was one of the top finishers of last season's NCAA championships. The Harvard student is currently taking a one-year break from school to train for the Olympics and will return to university after Rio.