SINGAPORE - National fencer Amita Berthier finished second at the Guatemala Junior World Cup on Monday (Nov 20, Singapore time), winning the country's first individual medal at a Junior World Cup event.
The 16-year-old defeated Venezuela's Susanne Hernandez in the semi-finals, before falling 11-15 to Lydia Casillas of Mexico in the finals.
Amita, who won SEA Games gold at the Kuala Lumpur Games in August, said she had been "a bit more nervous" entering the final match, as she had fenced against 19-year-old Casillas before. Casillas had also defeated Amita at the same competition last year, where the latter finished sixth.
Amita told The Straits Times: "I fenced against her before so I know how she fences, and I'm not going to lie - I was a bit more nervous, but I didn't give up, I just wanted to give my 100 per cent and win.
"The final match was the toughest of the day, it was very tricky and unfortunately I didn't manage to win but overall I'm happy with my performance.
"(This result) means a lot to me because I've never won a medal at the Junior World Cup stage before and this is my first year on the junior (Under-20) circuit, so it's a definitely a milestone."
Before winning gold on her SEA Games debut this year, Amita, who trains in Boston with German Olympic medallist Ralf Bissdorf at Marx Fencing Academy, also won a cadet bronze at the World Cadet and Junior Fencing Championships in April
With her performance in Guatemala, Amita will rise six positions to her highest junior world ranking of 12, and the teenager has every intention of continuing to rise.
"There have been ups and downs in my fencing career and I'm pleased that everything has been going well and that I managed to do Singapore proud again," she added.
"I'm going to continue working hard and not rest on my laurels. It's pretty cool to achieve what I have so far, this year has been good so I hope I can continue for the next few years."
At the senior-level Memorial de Ferdinand de Martinengro tournament in Bratislava, which also took place over the weekend, Singaporean Nicole Wong finished seventh after losing 9-15 to Italy's Marta Cammilletti in the quarter-finals.
The 19-year-old SEA Games bronze medallist had won silver in the North American Cup in Kansas City, Missouri last week.