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Grabbing the Gold: Star Fencer Eli Dershwitz Finds International Success Representing Team USA

By Leon K. Yang, Contributing Writer

Junior Eli Dershwitz, in the midst of an impressive career of fencing at Harvard, is also an established prominent figure on the international stage. No stranger to world competitions, the Sherborn, Mass. native recently set out overseas searching for more glory.

Dershwitz competed in the Senior World Cup Algeria from Nov. 3-5, where, out of 132 fencers, he captured a gold medal in the sabre category for the United States. The medal was his second career gold on the world circuit.

The result propelled him to a sensational ranking of 10th in the world by the International Fencing Federation. In addition, Dershwitz is the youngest of the top 25 sabre fencers in the world.

In the three-day competition held in Algiers, Algeria, Dershwitz beat Russia’s Veniamin Reshetnikov in the semifinals, 15-14, and Italy’s Enrico Berre, 15-9, in the finals.

Dershwitz’s impressive line of achievements stretch well before his time at Harvard. In 2012, he won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships. In 2013, Dershwitz won gold at the Sosnoweic Junior World Cup. In 2014, he contributed to winning a bronze medal for the United States at the Junior World Championships and won the gold medal at the Budapest Junior World Cup.

In 2015, Derschwitz captured the gold at the Junior World Championships and followed up with a gold medal at the National Division I Championships. In 2016, he was named to the U.S. Olympic Team a finished 19th at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. He became the seventh fencer in Crimson history to compete in the Olympics; at the age of 20, he was the youngest on the American team. In March of that year, he won his first grand prix medal.

In 2017, Dershwitz competed at the World Cup in Madrid, where he won a silver medal; this was his first individual medal on the world stage.

Dershwitz’s career at Harvard has been equally illustrious. As co-captain of the fencing team, he has already acquired first team All-Ivy and All-American honors in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns. In his freshman year, he finished with an 84-14 record, including an impressive 15-0 performance at the Ivy League Round Robbins, leading to the Crimson’s Ivy League Title victory. At the NCAA Championships, he finished third.

In his sophomore year, Dershwitz finished with a 69-10 record in the regular season and became the Men’s Sabre Ivy League Champion. He earned a gold medal at the NCAA Regionals Championship, which qualified him for the NCAA Championships. At the NCAA Championships, Dershwitz bested his previous year’s performance, becoming the NCAA Champion in men’s sabre, becoming the first individual to win a title for Harvard since 2007.

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