ARMONK, N.Y. -- Fifteen-year-old Armonk resident Sylvie Binder has earned a spot on the USA’s World Cadet Fencing team and will compete at the Cadet World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Friday, April 3.
Binder earned her spot representing the United States by finishing the 2014-2015 season as the third-highest ranking foil fencer in her age category, 17 and under. She will join two other female fencers, Morgan Partridge of Swansee, Mass., and Stefani Deschner of Mechanicsville, Va., at the competition, which attracts hundreds of athletes from countries such as Hungary, Germany, Italy, Russia, Brazil and France. Binder has had a stand-out season both domestically and internationally. A high point came last October when she won the gold medal at one of Europe’s most competitive cadet international fencing tournaments – the Sparkassen Cup held in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany.
Binder bested more than 180 fencers from around Europe and the United States to win the gold after a two-day double elimination competition. Her win in Germany, along with a bronze medal in another event in Gyor, Hungary, contributed to her strong ranking this season. Upon being named to the U.S. fencing squad, Binder said, “To now compete against the best fencers in the whole world is a dream come true – and I am going to give it everything I have to become recognized worldwide.” For the next month, Binder will train with her coaches from the Fencing Academy of Westchester – Anya Katkova and Slava Grigoriev. She also is trying to raise funds through an Internet crowdsourcing campaign to help pay for her coaches and family to travel to Uzbekistan in central Asia north of Afghanistan.
As part of that campaign, Binder has pledged to donate 10 percent of all funds raised to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She chose that organization because of Central Asia’s weak record on human rights. See https://www.rallyme.com/rallies/1476 for more information. Binder fences with a foil (the other categories are saber and épée) and has been fencing since she was seven years old. Binder is ranked third nationally in the cadets category, eighth in the juniors category (20 and under) and seventeenth in the senior (open) categories. She is in the 10th grade at Byram Hills High School in Armonk.
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