Penn State fencing: Nittany Lion makes history

A Penn State student athlete made fencing history on Friday.

Penn State senior Miles Chamley-Watson became the first U.S. man to win an individual gold medal at the Senior World Fencing Championships.

A foil fencer who had been ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in 2011, fenced his way through four straight bouts before he beat Artur Akhmatkhuzin in the finals, 15-6. Akhmatkhuzin is a three-time medalist on the 2013 World Cup Circuit.

“I knew that I had worked hard and could maybe get a medal, but I‘m extremely happy I was able to win,” Chamley-Watson said in a release provided by Penn State. “I knew that my preparation was very strong. I felt great in the pools. I can’t say I expected to win, but I expected to do well and, in this case, well means winning.“

Chamley-Watson preceeded his title win with victories over Valerio Aspromonte, 15-9, a 15-12 win over Bojan Jovanovic, a Giorgio Avola, Alexey Cheremisinov and Sebastian Bachmann.

All of his opponents carried heavy credentials into bouts with Chamley-Watson.

Aspromonte was a 2012 Olympic Team Champion along with Giorgio Avola. Bachmann was a two-time medalist at the Senior World Championships.

The team competition begins on Monday.