TORUN, Poland, May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Peter Westbrook Foundation's (PWF's) Lauren Scruggs made history this month when she became the first US foil fencer in history to win double gold in the U-20 and U-17 World Championship events in Poland. The Junior and Cadet World Championships is held annually and showcases some of the most talented fencers under the age of 20 in the world. In the Junior Women's foil event Scruggs – who won the bronze in the event as a 15 year old last year – became the seventh US female fencer to claim the individual title. Additionally, she becomes a part of a great history of Olympic level athletes to have won the honor and joins her teammate – Olympian Nzingha Prescod – as one of only two African American women to win the event.
Scruggs would enter the Junior competition with high hopes after a strong performance in the event the preceding season. After a 6-0 finish in pools, Scruggs entered the direct elimination rounds with a difficult road ahead of her. In the quarterfinals, she would face Leonie Ebert (GER) – the No. 6 senior women's foil fencer in the world and a favorite to win the title. Scruggs would emerge victorious after a hard fought match posting a 15-12 victory. In the semifinals, Scruggs would defeat Yuka Ueno (JPN) in a rematch of the 2018 semifinal in a thrilling 11-10 overtime victory. In the finals, Scruggs took on Martina Favaretto (ITA) where she would close out the Italian 15-13 to win gold.
Fewer than 12 hours later, Scruggs would gear up again, this time for the U-17 event. After a strong 6-0 in the opening round, Scruggs would find herself competing against Team USA teammates, Zander Rhodes and subsequently in Maia Weintraub in the rounds of 16 and semifinals, respectively. Scruggs would secure her second podium finish of the event after posting a 15-9 victory over Weintraub. She would defeat Margherita Lorenzi (ITA) in the semifinals 15-9 and clinch victory over Sein Hong (KOR) in the finals to take the gold.
Scruggs is now the only U.S. foil fencer in history to have won both titles at the same World Championships and one of three U.S. fencers to ever achieve the feat in the history of the sport.
"This is an incredible achievement by Lauren," exclaimed Peter Westbrook, founder of the Peter Westbrook Foundation. "Winning one world championship title is a career accomplishment for most. For Lauren she has been blessed with two amazing world titles! I know that this is a sign of great things to come for her."
SOURCE Peter Westbrook Foundation