By Waylon Galvez
US-based Filipino fencer Daena Talavera made history when she finished seventh overall in the women’s cadet division in the Junior-Cadet World Championships last Wednesday 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 the No. 5 seeding 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, 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.