The US' Hadley Husisian, second left, defended her women's épée junior world title ©FIE

American athletes starred with eight golds at the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships in Plovdiv, where Russian competitors remained absent because an International Fencing Federation (FIE) decision to allow their return does not come into force until later this month.

Cadet category competitions were open for athletes aged up to 17 at the Plovdiv International Fair in the Bulgarian city, and junior events for those aged up to 20.

Hadley Husisian made history for the United States by becoming the country's first two-time junior world champion, overcoming Poland's Alicja Klasik to defend her individual women's épée title, with Ukraine's Anna Maksymenko and Israel's Nicole Feygin taking bronze.

However, Poland beat the US 45-38 to claim the women's junior team épée gold.

On the men's side in the junior category, Egypt won team gold 45-43 against Switzerland and the individual title through Mohamed Yasseen 14-13 at the expense of Swiss athlete Théo Brochard.

The junior sabre competitions brought joy for the US.

Colin Heathcock, who has switched nationality from Germany in FIE competitions, beat Japan's Mao Kokubo 15-12 in the men's final, and Magda Skarbonkiewicz also saw off a Japanese rival in the form of Yuina Kaneko by 15 points to 11 in the women's decider.

The US earned the men's team sabre title 45-38 against Egypt, but the women's team gold went to Hungary who edged past Italy 45-44.

Zander Rhodes won an all-American women's junior foil final against Lauren Scruggs 15-13, with both athletes helping their countries to win the team gold 45-39 against Italy.

The US men's team beat Italy 45-38 in their final, but it was an Italian Damiano Di Veroli who won individual gold 15-13 against China's Zeng Zhaoran.

William Morrill claimed the US' only gold in the cadet category, winning the men's sabre final 15-9 against Poland's Benedykt Denkiewicz.

Three of Hungary's golds at the World Championships came in the cadet age bracket, in contrast.

The US triumphed in the men's junior team foil event, as well as the women's team competition with the same weapon ©FIE
The US triumphed in the men's junior team foil event, as well as the women's team competition with the same weapon ©FIE

Domonkos Pelle overcame the US Virgin Islands' Kruz Schembri 15-13 in the men's épée final bout, Blanka Virag Nagy took the women's title 15-10 with the same weapon against Japan’s Mizuki Homma, and Emese Domonkos saw off Azerbaijan's Zarifa Huseynova 15-12 in the women's sabre decider.

China’s Guo Yifan and Amelie Tsang of Britain were the foil cadet champions, beating South Korea's Choi Hyeok-jun 15-13 and Italy's Greta Collini 15-11 in the men's and women's finals respectively.

The FIE backed a return for Russian and Belarusian fencers to its competitions last month before the International Olympic Committee issued its updated recommendations permitting athletes from both countries to compete as neutrals provided they do not support the invasion of Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

This is set to become effective from mid-April, but the move has proved controversial with more than 300 fencers signing a letter in opposition to Russian and Belarusian athletes' participation in sport and FIE events scrapped in Poland, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and France.