Fifteen-year-old Ponte Vedra resident Lawrence “Lance” Tan recently won team bronze in Y14 Foil and individual bronze in Y14 Epee at the North American Cup (NAC) fencing competition.
Held March 11-14 in held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the event was the last U.S. national tournament prior to the Cadet and Junior World Championships (Les Championnats du Monde D'Escrime) to be held next month in Bourges, France. Tan will compete April 1-10 in four events: Cadet Foil, Cadet Epee, Junior Foil, and Junior Epee.
Tan, a dual national, will represent the Philippines at the international event. He has previously represented the United States and medaled in many international competitions in the Pan-American region and in Europe for Team USA, but began fencing for the Philippines as a heritage athlete dual national this season.
Tan said deciding to represent the Philippines instead of the USA was “a difficult decision.” After winning two gold medals at the National Youth Games held in the Philippines, Tan was invited to train with the country’s senior national team, where he me the coaches. He also had an opportunity to meet other American youths who are currently on the national Philippines team.
“When I won the national youth championship in Foil and Epee, I realized that it would be very special to represent the country of my heritage in international competition,” Tan said. “I talked it over with my coach and my parents, and we came to the conclusion that it would be not only great for my fencing, but also a wonderful thing to represent the Philippines as an American-trained, third-generation American athlete. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Tan currently trains in Orange County, Calif. at Golubitsky Fencing Center under Olympic Silver Medalist and three-time World Champion Sergei Golubitsky. When he is in Florida, he trains at the Jacksonville Fencing Club in Riverside.