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Amita Makes ‘Italian Grip’ For World Junior No. 1 Spot
2019 Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships
By Li Peixin
Senior Executive, Strategic Communications
“Amita” is indeed living up to her name in Sanskrit which means “infinity” – for she is now at the top of the world.
Amita Marie Nicolette Berthier, 18, lunged her way to the top of the International Fencing Federation's (FIE) World Junior Rankings for Women's Foil on 12 March 2019. It is the first time that any Singaporean fencer has advanced to the top of any FIE ranking, in any of the three weapon groups.
She had earned 48 points when she won the U20 Junior event at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Amman, Jordon, last week, and it put her just 1 point ahead of her nearest contender, Italy's Martina Favaretto, for that No. 1 position.
The Singapore Sports School alumna who is currently a Freshman at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, has carried her fine form over from 2018. On 6 January 2019, she won a bronze medal at the FIE Junior World Cup – Udine Leg, which was her third successive podium finish at a Junior World Cup, after her gold medal in Guatemala in November 2018 and silver in Cuba in December 2018.
Hence, expectations were high when the top-seed stepped on the piste in Amman. She did not disappoint with two come-from-behind victories over Japan’s Arisa Kano in the last 16 and China’s Fu Yingying in the semi-finals, before defeating South Korea’s Park Ji-hee.
Amita had earlier teamed with fellow Sports School alumna Tatiana Wong Yu Rong and two others to win the U20 Junior Women’s Foil Team event.
It was Secondary 4 student-athlete Simon Lee Renjie who opened the medal box on the first day of competition on 27 February by winning the U16 Cadet Men’s Epee event. Simon had won the bronze medal in the same competition last year; he has another year in the Cadet event and he is surely aiming for a gold medal next year.
In the Cadet Men's Foil Team event, Diploma in Business Studies Year 1 student-athlete Matthew James Lim Quan Rong, Secondary 4’s Joel Chiu Ka Jyn and two others won the bronze medal.
The fencers are now turning their focus on the World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Torun, Poland, from 6 to 19 April.