Justin Yoo ’15 makes épée history

Jonathan Seymour

Fencer Justin Yoo ’15 became the first American fencer in history to place in the top three at both the Junior and Cadet World Championships in the same year this month. He travelled to Plovdiv, Bulgaria in the beginning of April to compete in the U17 Cadet World Championships and the U19 Junior World Championships, and placed second in the U17 championships and third in the U19 championships. Yoo has been fencing for the past eight years, and he hopes to continue fencing in college

“Fencing is a mix of physical and mental ability,” Yoo said. “Combined with the fact that it’s a one-person sport, fencing forces you to make quick decisions and formulate strategies based on your physical skill alone. I find that aspect of fencing very appealing because I hate when people make decisions for me.”

Yoo is ranked first in the nation and 13th in the world in the U19 age group. In addition to his weekly training regimen, Yoo will compete in the Youth Olympic Games in August.

“I’m really excited to live in the Olympic Village in Nanjing, China,” Yoo said. “After that, I’m aiming to make the U19 national team again.”

Yoo did not compete on the school fencing team this year because he didn’t have time.

However, next year, he will join the team to fulfill his PE requirement.

“I’m really not sure where fencing’s [going to] take me,” Yoo said. “Right now, I’m just taking it one day at a time. It’s just been a great outlet for me. It drains all the mental stress and it keeps me active. It’s also really fun.”