Romanian fencer Ana Maria Popescu this past
Sunday walked away with silver in the women's singles epee event as part of the
World Fencing Championships, underway in the Chinese city of Wuxi.
Ana Maria Popescu's successful trail
includes wins against Japan's Kanna Oishi, Italy's Rossella Fiamingo and
Ukrainian Joan Feybi Bejura and Olena Krivitska. In the semifinals, Ana Maria
Popescu outclassed Courtney Hurley of the US, yet in the final the Romanian sustained
a defeat by Italian fencer Maria Navarra. The performance was Ana Maria
Popescu's career best in a World Championship; reason enough for Radio Romania
International to designate Ana-Maria Popescu Athlete of the Week.
Ana Maria Popescu, better known to fencing
lovers as Ana Maria Branza, was born on November 26th, 1984. For the
first time ever Ana Maria Popescu compelled international recognition in 2001,
when she won the title at the World Cadets Championships held in Poland. In
2002, Ana Maria Popescu reaped the world juniors title at the world
championships in Turkey. 2002 turned out to be a special year for Ana Maria
Popescu, who walked away with silver from the World Seniors Championships held
At the Athens Olympics in 2004, when all
Romanians' hopes were pinned on Ana Maria Popescu, the Romanian fencer came in
16th, an unassuming position back then. In 2008 in Bejing, however,
Ana Maria Popescu braced up and won the silver medal, the highest distinction
for Romanian fencing at the Beijing Olympics.
In 2010 and 2011, Ana Maria Popescu was part
of the Romanian side that won the world epee title in the nations' competition.
In 2013, at the European Championships in Croatia, Ana Maria Branza won gold in
the women's singles and silver in the nations' competition. At the European
Championships held in Strasbourg in 2014 and in Montreux, in 2015, Ana Maria
Branza won gold in the nations' competition.
Ana Maria Popescu's career best so far
occurred in 2016. At the Olympic Games in Rio, the Romanian fencer was part of
the lineup that walked away with gold from the nations' competition.