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Turnabout: U.S. saber team wins twice by a point

08/17/2008, 1:44am CDT
By No Author

BEIJING (AP) Keeth Smart scored the final touch in two straight 45-44 victories, sending the U.S. men's saber team to Sunday's gold medal bout.

Four years ago, the U.S. missed out on a medal because of back-to-back 45-44 losses.

In the semifinals Sunday, the Americans trailed Russia 40-35 before Smart outscored Stanislav Pozdnyakov 10-4 for the win. In the previous round, the U.S. was behind 40-36 before Smart outscored Hungary's Zsolt Nemcsik 9-4.

The U.S. will face France for the gold.

In Athens in 2004, Smart's failure to score the decisive point kept the U.S. from beating France in the semifinals. The same thing happened to him against Russia for the bronze.

It was Pozdnyakov who got the better of Smart four years ago, outscoring him 10-4 in the final round to give Russia the bronze medal. This time, the American turned the tables.

On Saturday, Smart's sister Erinn won a silver medal as part of the women's foil team.



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