Chicagoan Eliza Stone made her senior world championship debut by fencing two bouts for the U.S. women's saber team that won the bronze medal Monday in Budapest.
The U.S. beat Italy 45-30 for the bronze after losing to Russia 45-33 in the semis. Ukraine topped Russia 45-44 for the title.
Two-time Olympic champion Mariel Zagunis, Dagmara Wozniak, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Stone competed for the U.S. in the team event.
Stone finished 19th in the individual competition.
In the complicated scoring system used in the team event, Stone lost her two bouts 15-4 and 6-5.
Stone, 22, a June graduate of Princeton, said she was unnerved by the atmosphere at the meet.
“Coming in, I was warned that it would be very different from the other tournaments – very different from the other World Cups I’ve been to this year," she said. "There’s more ceremony. There’s more lights. There’s more noise.
"I’m glad I got to see that. It rattled me, admittedly, but I’m proud that I’m on this team and that we took bronze. I’m glad I was here, even though it didn’t go how I wanted it to. I’m just glad that my teammates are so solid and strong and can pick up any problem there was on the team and keep it going.
“I have to just train myself to not pay attention to the crowd or the score or how afraid I am of losing. And I just have to know that I have to want to win more than I’m afraid of losing. And I just have to tell myself that over and over again. I just hope that, with experience, I get better at that.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun