Skyline Senior Wins Bronze in World Fencing Championship
Skyline High School senior Ketki Ketkar recently represented the United States and competed in fencing on the world stage, where she won a bronze medal in the individual event and a second bronze medal in the team event at the fencing Cadet and Junior World Championships held in Dubai. Ketki was one of four girls selected from the United States for this competition.
Congratulations, Ketki, on this incredible achievement!
We had the chance to catch up with her via email, and asked her to share more about her journey to this accomplishment. Read more from Ketki, in her own words:
Q: When did you start fencing?
A: “I started fencing when I was 10 years old, about seven years ago.”
Q: Do you take lessons?
A: “Yes ... I take group classes three times a week, and private lessons with Coach Yasser Eldarawani. I also train every day in the morning.”
Q: How often/how much do you practice?
A: “Regularly I train four times a week at the academy about three hours each time and every day early morning from 5:30 - 7a.m. with my sister in our garage. When there is a tournament approaching, my coach has me add two more evenings at the academy.”
Q: What do you love about it?
A: “I love fencing; I like the challenge each and every bout presents. While fencing requires me to be fast on my feet, and it also makes me think and take decisions in a split second. Each win is about outwitting my opponents, and each loss teaches me something about the opponent and about myself. I love practicing and chasing this dream with my twin sister Mallika – she helps me stay challenged and motivated.”
Q: What’s the most challenging part of fencing for you?
A: “Balancing my academics with fencing is the biggest challenge. Sometimes I have to study while in a flight; submit assignments from wherever I am. Also, adjusting to different time zones when I travel internationally is a big challenge. But having the support from my family and most importantly my coach and Mallika makes it easier.”
Q: What did it feel like when you won bronze?
A: “Winning the bronze felt amazing, gold would have been better 😂. I had to fence a couple of very hard fencers along the way. The semifinal was with my USA teammate and I lost by one touché. She went on to win the gold. Overall, I am very happy with my performance since I went from not having any seeding to being 15th in the world and second in the country.”
Q: What’s next, now that you’ve won bronze on the international competition level?
A: “The experience of representing my country and fencing with so many fencers from the world was amazing. I hope I get more opportunities to do so in future. I am working hard to qualify for next year’s championships and possibly for the senior world championships.
Q: Is there anything else you want the community to know?
A: “I would really like to encourage everyone to try fencing and other sports. Fencing is super safe and super fun. The fencing community is very welcoming and helpful. Most schools and districts only offer a handful of popular sports, but try something out of the ordinary and out of your comfort zone. Trust me, it will be fun!”