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U.S. Men's Saber Team Wins Silver at Budapest World Cup

11/03/2015, 1:29am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Team USA silver medalists Peter Souders, Jeff Spear, Daryl Homer and Eli Dershwitz with Coach Zoran Tulum. Photo Credit: Eli Dershwitz.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Men's Saber Team won its second medal in less than a month on Sunday, propelling the squad into a No. 4 World Ranking. 

Led by 2015 Senior World silver medalist Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.), the team of Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) and Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md.) was seeded fifth in the tournament and earned a bye into the table of 16 where the Americans would face Ukraine. 

Team USA built a crucial 10-touch lead early in the match after Homer and Spear defeated Yuriy Tsap and Oleksiy Statsenko by 5-1 and 5-0 scores, respectively. While Ukraine made a comeback late in the match, Team USA held on for a 45-44 win. 

In the quarter-finals, Team USA won four of the first seven bouts against Poland to take a 35-31 lead. Dershwitz won the eighth bout, 5-3, over Marcin Koniusz and Homer took the anchor bout, 5-3, against Jakub Ocinski to give the Americans a 45-37 victory. 

Team USA fenced Hungary in the semis and dominated the first four bouts to take a 20-5 lead with Dershwitz posting a key win in the second with a 5-1 run against 2012 Olympic Champion Aron Szilagyi and Spear shutting out 2013 Junior World silver medalist Andras Szatmari, 5-0, in the fourth. Szilagyi was determined to bail his team out and picked up 22 scores in two bouts for Hungary, but the Americans held on for a 45-43 win. 

In the finals, the Americans took on Russia - a team led by reigning Senior World Champion Alexey Yakimenko that came into the event as the reigning Senior World silver medalists and 2013 World Champions. The Russians also fell to Team USA in Tbilisi and were on a mission to avenge the loss. 

Team USA made a change to the start order and put Dershwitz out first and the reigning Junior World Champion shut out 2014 Senior World Champion Nikolay Kovalev, 5-0. Homer won the second against 2013 Junior World Champion Kamil Ibragimov by a 5-3 score. Spear and Dershwitz each split bouts at 5-5 in the next two legs against Yakimenko and Ibragimov to give Team USA a 20-13 lead. In the fifth bout, however, Kovalev went on a 12-3 run against Spear to put Russia into the lead at 25-23. By the end of the seventh, Russia's lead had grown to four touches at 35-31 when Dershwitz took a 7-5 win over Yakimenko. Down, 40-38, at the start of the anchor bout, Homer scored five straight touches on Kovalev to put Team USA up, 44-43. Kovalev took the last two touches as Russia finished the bout, 45-44. 

Team USA's second podium finish of the season not only moves the Americans up to a No. 4 World Ranking, but the U.S. Men's Saber Team has established itself as a podium contender for the 2016 World Team Championships which will be held in Rio de Janeiro. 

On Saturday, Homer was the only member of Team USA to advance to the second day of competition, but Homer lost his opening bout to Maximilian Kindler (GER), 15-9. 

Click here to view complete team results.  

Click here to view complete individual results. 

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Budapest Men's Saber Individual World Cup
1. Alexey Yakimenko (RUS) 
2. Junghwan Kim (KOR)
3. Kamil Ibragimov (RUS) 
3. Nicolas Rousset (FRA)
5. Tiberiu Dolniceanu (ROU)
6. Max Hartung (GER)
7. Vincent Anstett (FRA)
8. Luca Curatoli (ITA)

33. Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.)
67. Evan Prochniak (Hudson, N.H.)
68. Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)
101. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
105. Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md.)
111. Marty Williams Jr. (Danbury, Conn.)
155. Will Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) 
183. Andrew Fischl (Huntington, N.Y.)

Budapest Men's Saber Team World Cup
1. Russia
2. USA
3. Hungary
4. Germany
5. Italy
6. Korea
7. China
8. Poland 

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