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Team USA Defeats Olympic Champions to Win Bronze at Istanbul Saber World Cup

03/14/2011, 8:46am CDT
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Led by the top two women’s saber fencers in the world, team competitions between the United States and Ukraine are always close, but the women of Team USA had one of their best bouts in history on Sunday as they defeated the reigning Olympic Champions, 45-29, at the Istanbul World Cup in Turkey to win bronze.

Made up of two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.); 2010 Senior World Team members Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.) and Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.); and Emma Baratta (Somerville, N.J.), Team USA opened with an easy first-round win against Mexico, 45-29.

After Germany upset Poland, Team USA earned a 45-36 victory against the Germans to advance to the semifinals where the Americans lost to top-ranked Russia, 45-31.

On the opposite side of the table, China upset Ukraine which left Team USA to compete against the #2-ranked team in the world for bronze. The Americans were up to the challenge, however, and defeated two-time World silver medalist Olga Kharlan’s squad, 45-29 – the largest margin of victory in women’s saber history for Team USA over Ukraine.

The bronze medal win followed a ninth-place finish in the individual event on Saturday for Zagunis who lost to 2010 World medalist Olena Khomrova (UKR) in the table of 16. Muhammad also qualified for the table of 16 where she finished 14th. Schneider and Baratta placed 20th and 30th, respectively.

Results are as follows:

Istanbul Saber Individual World Cup
1. Olga Kharlan (UKR)
2. Olena Khomrova (UKR)
3. Yana Egorian (RUS)
3. Julia Gavrilova (RUS)
5. Sophia Velikaia (RUS)
6. Ekaterina Diatchenko (RUS)
7. Reka Benko (HUN)
8. Galyna Pundyk (UKR)

9. Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
14. Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.)
20. Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.)
30. Emma Baratta (Somerville, N.J.)
115. Aziza Hassan (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Istanbul Saber Team World Cup
1. Russia
2. China
3. USA
4. Ukraine

For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Fencing Communications Manager, at 719.761.7909 or


Tag(s): News