Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Women sabrists earn Gold and Bronze; first US Fencing medals in 20 years, first Gold in 100 years

This is an email update I got overnight from the US Fencing Association (yes, I subscribe to their email updates). I'm so excited! Yes! Yes! Yes! (and oooooo, now I wish I had a TV, and Cable . . . . )

Athens, Greece:

History has been made by not one but two US Olympic fencers.

Mariel Zagunis won the gold medal in the Olympic individual women's saber

With American flags waving in the sold-out stands, Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
commanded the bout against Xue Tan of China from the beginning, running an
8-2 streak by the first break. Zagunis fenced with tenacity and imagination,
scoring for instance with point-in-line at 5-2.

After the break Tan rallied, changing her game and taking the score back up
to 10-6 to the chants of the large contingent from China. But Zagunis was
not to be denied and gritted out the next few touches to finally win 15-9.

She was immediately tossed in the air by her teammates, who rushed the

Just before the gold medal bout, Sada Jacobson (Dunwoody, Ga.) became the
first US women ever to win an Olympic medal and the first US fencers to
medal in 20 years.

Jacobson commandingly defeated Catalina Gheorghitoaia of Romania in the bout
for the bronze. She led the bout from the beginning and gained momentum
throughout, leading 8-5 at the break and 15-7 in the end.

Zagunis's win avenged Jacobson's earlier 12-15 loss to Tan. For her part,
Jacobson defeated Leonore Perrus of France in the quarterfinals, who had
earlier knocked younger sister Emily Jacobson out of the event in the round
of 16.

Stay tuned to see both young American stars on the podium and hear, for the
first time since 1904, the Star Spangled Banner played for our fencers.

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