Sapphira with with Coach Galya (PRNewsfoto/Sapphira Ching)

Training with an Olympic gold medal-winning coach has paid off for fencer Sapphira Ching. At 15 years old, the rising high school junior just won a silver medal in the Division I Senior Women Saber Team event at the USA Fencing Summer National Championship in St. Louis, MO. Ching, who trains in Wilton at the Olympian Fencing Studio with Olympic- and World Champion Galyna Pundyk, has become the first female saber fencer from Connecticut to ever win a top-three medal at any national-level USA Fencing senior events (Division I or Team).

2018 Fencing Senior Team Silver Medalists (PRNewsfoto/Sapphira Ching)

Ching (second from left) won her medal with teammates Ryan Jenkins, Erin Chen, and Joy Yun.

This was not the first time that Ching made history for Connecticut. In November 2017, at age 14, she won a Bronze medal at Kansas City’s USA Fencing North American Cup, making her the youngest female fencer in Connecticut history to earn a solid Division I status from a national competition.

In the 2015 State Games of America (“SGA”)–a biennial, Olympiad-style sports extravaganza with nearly 50 sports categories and 12,000 athletes from over 30 states–she represented Connecticut to win two Gold medals and one Silver medal in fencing, (as well as a Bronze medal in the 50m backstroke), helping to propel Team CT to a Top-10 State rank (in terms of medal count) for the first time in SGA history.

A month later, she became the first Connecticut fencer to win Bronze at London’s prestigious Leon Paul International Youth Saber Tournament. In 2014, at age 11, Ching became qualified as the youngest three-weapon referee in the history of USA Fencing.

A two-time Connecticut High School Champion, Ching began fencing four years ago in 7th Grade, and has a regular-season record of 115W-5L.