Courtney Hurley finished off a big month by winning the silver medal at an epee grand prix Sunday in Cali, Colombia.
The only fencer to stop Hurley on Sunday was Emese Szasz-Kovacs of Hungary, the reigning Olympic champion and world No. 1. Szasz-Kovacs defeated Hurley in the final match by a score of 15-11. Szasz-Kovacs won six of the match’s final eight points after it was tied at 9-9.
Hurley’s runner-up finish in Cali comes just three weeks after she helped the U.S. women’s epee team win its first-ever world cup gold medal in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hurley combined with her sister, Kelley, Katharine Holmes and Natalie Vie to defeat second-ranked Russia in the team title match there.
The silver in Cali marks Hurley’s second-ever grand prix medal. The first came in Havana in 2014.
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Hurley scored a number of upsets in Cali as she was seeded 26th coming into the tournament. She defeated 34th-ranked Auriane Mallo of France by a score of 15-8 in the semifinals. She also defeated sixth-ranked Olena Kryvytska of Ukraine in the quarterfinals, 18th-ranked Rossella Fiamingo of Italy in the table of 16, 11th-ranked Injeong Choi of Korea in the table of 32, and Hyojoo Choi of Korea in the table of 64.
Hurley made her Olympic debut at the Olympic Games London 2012 and was a part of the first U.S. women’s epee team to win an Olympic medal when the Americans took bronze. She also competed in Rio in 2016.
This week’s tournament in Cali was the final major international tournament in epee until the world championships, which are scheduled for July in Wuxi, China.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.