By Jerry Del Priore
Brooklyn-trained fencer Alan Temiryaev didn’t let an ankle woe prevent him from achieving a measure of success on the first day of the Junior and Cadet World Championships in Verona, Italy, earlier in the week.
Although he had to take off three weeks from training after twisting his ankle, the 17-year-old Sheepshead Bay native captured 12th place in the Junior (17-20 age group) individual epee competition in his first Junior World Championship event.
After easily taking the bout against Goncalo Alves (POR), 15-5, Temiryaev, who fared the best on Team USA, faced Davide Di Veroli (ITA), the 2017 Cadet World Champion.
Temiryaev kept the bout close, but behind at 9-8 with 20 seconds to go, lack of time forced him to attack more aggressively, leaving him susceptible to his opponent’s offense. Di Veroli took advantage of the situation, putting up three straight single touches and used the momentum to win, 15-10. Di Veroli went on to claim the silver in the event.
“He could’ve won against Di Veroli, who’s very good,” Temiryaev’s coach, Misha Mokretsov, at New York Fencing Academy (NYFA) in Coney Island, Brooklyn, said. “If healthy, that would’ve been an equal match, for sure. But who knows what would’ve really happened? That would’ve been good to see if Alan was healthy.”
Temiryaev, a member of last year’s Cadet World Team, defeated Marin Atanasov (BUL), 15-11, and Fynn Fafard (CAN), 14-11, to advance to the final 32.
While the former Madison High School student didn’t progress further in the competition, Temiryaev was nonetheless pleased with his performance.
“I just came in feeling really confident. I was inspired by some other fencers who believe that if you believe you can do it, then you can do it,” Temiryaev explained. “That was my mentality, especially against Fafard, where the score was touch for touch. I just believed I had to be stronger and more dominant and if I just believed in myself, like I did, I just got those touches. It’s all about confidence and pulling through.”
Being his first Junior International Finals, Temiryaev, who’s has Harvard and Columbia Universities heavily recruiting him as a student-athlete, put everything in perspective. And he plans to grind like a bat out of hell to reach his aspirations next year.
“This is my first Junior World Championships and I hope there will be many more. I’m quite pleased with my result,” he said. “Of course, we would have wanted to do more and achieve as much as possible, but you know your limits and then for next year, you work harder to achieve those limits.”
Mokretsov is optimistic regarding his student’s future, who’s been training with him since he began fencing at age 10.
He even considers him one of the top fencers in the country in his age class and among the best to ever step foot into NYFA, behind Romain Cannone, a former student and French national fencer on the rise.
“At his age, he’s probably the best in his age group,” he said. “Against adults, he fences pretty well. At this point, he’s definitely, right after Romain, one of my best athletes ever at the school.”
National Fencing Club Rankings has named NYFA Fencing Club of the Year for two consecutive years (2016-2017 & 2015-2016) and ranked No.1 in 10 categories.
In addition, NYFA is scheduled to open its second school, in Port, Washington, Long Island, on Wednesday, April 18th, with the open house occurring on Sunday, April 29th.
For more information on NYFA, visit https://fencenyfa.com.