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CHS Student Competes in Junior-Cadet World Fencing Championships

CHS junior Daena Talavera made history when she finished seventh overall in the women's cadet division in the Junior-Cadet World Fencing Championships in Cairo, Egypt.


The 16-year-old Talavera, a Grade 11 student at Clayton High School in Missouri, topped her pool play with a 5-0 record to claim fifth seed going to the tournaments’ knockout stage.


After she earned a bye in the Round-of-64 foil category, Talavera defeated No. 28 Marjona Usmonova of Uzbekistan 15-11 in the Round-of-32, and then downed 12th seed Malak Hamza of host Egypt 15-7 in the Round-of-16.


In the quarterfinal round, however, Talavera suffered a painful 15-14 setback to 13th seed Maria Cojocari of Moldova. The latter lost in the gold medal match to 22th seed Anastasia Beznosikova of Russia 12-6.


Talavera eventually settled for a seventh place finish in the 13-17 years old cadet category, surpassing the 16th overall placing of Sam Catantan as a cadet participant during the 2019 meet in Poland.


Fencing national team head coach Amat Canlas said he and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, president of the Philippine Fencing Association, are proud with the accomplishment of Talavera.


"We are super proud of her, it's truly inspiring that our level is going up," Canlas said. "Ever since I really know Daena has the potential, when she was competing seven years ago in the age group, we know she'll be one of the best fencers that we'll have."


"With the help and all out support of her family, we're able to plan and strategize Daena's competition the previous years. Now she's one of the future of the fencing national team."


Talavera and fellow US-based Filipino fencers Annika Santos of Forest Hills Central High School also competed in the juniors category (18-20 years old) and placed 58th and 69th, respectively.

Catantan, a member of Penn State University and Lance Tan of Sacred Heart University placed 20th and 23rd overall in their respective events in the men’s and women’s juniors foil category – both personal bests.