Ireland fencer Nick Itkin has talented a lot in little time. With his eyes set on qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the sophomore appears well on his way with NCAA and junior world championships on his resume. After Los Angeles, California, Nick Itkin supposed he chose to follow an academic fencing career at Notre Dame since of his respect for the program.

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Obviously [Notre Dame has] the best fencing program in the world, and strength coaches, and a lot of resources to help you succeed as a student and as an athlete, Itkin supposed. I found I liked the environment. Everyone seemed super supportive. In his first two years as on-site, Nick Itkin went back-to-back as an NCAA champion in Men’s Stop. He was called the 2018 Notre Dame Men’s Fencing MVP, collecting a Junior World Championship in Men’s Foil to cap off his freshman campaign. Notre Dame’s fencing program as a whole over 2018 as back-to-back national champions.

“I wanted to compete collegiately as well as internationally, and I thought it was going to be hard to adjust to the new routine and new coaches, but it actually ended up working out really well,” Itkin supposed.

Afterward an impactful primary year at Notre Dame, Itkin said he recognized some tests came with consuming a target on his back as a college champion. Collegiately, I required to obviously recurrence as the champion in Men’s Stop, and I knew it would be tough because there’s a lot of pressure and expectations, Itkin supposed. It’s hard really hard to defend the title. People are expecting you to do this, but when you’re an underdog, it’s kind of easier. Trendy malice of the pressure of prospects, Itkin became a two-time NCAA champion after he beat his Notre Dame colleague, senior Axel Kiefer, in the finals.

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The match-up was interesting because we kind of knew each other, supposed Itkin. We both kind of adjusted our fencing for it, because we knew exactly what was going to happen. But if I had to see Kiefer, I liked that it’d been in the finals. Next additional trip to Junior World Championships in Poland in early April, Itkin’s emphasis has removed onto a haughty goal. He said he wants to contest in Tokyo for the Olympic 2020 Games. Five members of Notre Dame’s fencing program represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“I’m actually taking a gap year next year to train for the Olympics, supposed Itkin. So next year, I’ll be doing a lot of traveling and a lot of camps and trying to reach that goal. Los Angeles will be his home base, but occasional visits to Notre Dame have crossed his mind, he said.”

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