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U.S. Men’s Saber Team Earns World No. 1 Ranking After Gold in Warsaw

02/22/2016, 11:15pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – A historic World Cup season reached another new high for Team USA when the U.S. Men’s Saber Team won its second World Cup title at the Warsaw World Cup and earned the No. 1 ranking in the world.

A first for the U.S. Men’s Saber Team since 2004, the No. 1 world ranking also makes Team USA the top seed at the upcoming World Team Championships which will be held as part of the Olympic test events in Rio de Janeiro from April 25-27. Italy, the reigning Senior World Champions, fell from No. 1 to No. 2.

Team USA earned its best world ranking in a dozen years after a season that included two gold medals and a silver out of the last four World Cups and follows a fifth-place result at Senior Worlds and a Pan Am gold to end the 2014-15 season.

On Sunday, the U.S. team of Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.), Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) and Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md.) was ranked fourth in the world at the start of the tournament.

Team USA earned a bye into the table of 16 where the U.S. squad fenced Georgia who only had one fencer who could post a win against the Americans – Sandro Bazadze. With a three-touch lead after eight bouts at 40-37, Homer bested Mikheil Mardaleishvili, 5-4, in the anchor bout, leading Team USA to a 45-41 victory.

In the quarter-finals, Team USA built a 12-touch lead against France after the 7th and finished with a 45-38 win.

The Americans won or tied four of the first six bouts against Italy to take a 30-26 lead in the semis. Spear scored four straight to defeat three-time Olympic medalist Diego Occhiuzzi, 5-2, in the seventh and Dershwitz defeated 2015 Senior World Team Champion Luca Curatoli, 5-2, in the eighth. With a 10-touch lead, Homer split his final bout against 2015 Senior World Team Champion Enrico Berre to win the match, 45-35.

In the gold medal final against Russia, Dershwitz began the match with a key win, defeating 2015 Senior World Champion Alexey Yakimenko, 5-2, but Russia came back to hold a 40-37 lead by the end of the eighth. Homer, who qualified individually for the Rio Games on Saturday, got to work quickly against the Russian. Homer scored five straight touches against Yakimenko to regain the lead at 42-40 and holding off a late run by the Russian to win the match for Team USA, 45-43.

Team USA will hold the No. 1 seed in the World Team Championships, followed by Italy in No. 2 and Russia, the 2013 Senior World Team Champions, in third.

While men’s saber is being contested as an individual event only at the Rio Olympic Games, the event is expected to return to the program in Tokyo and a podium finish would be not only the first for the squad at a Senior World Championships, but would set the tone for a 2020 Olympic medal campaign.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Warsaw Men’s Team Saber World Cup
1. USA

2. Russia
3. Germany
4. Italy
5. Korea
6. Romania
7. Hungary
8. France

Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz  Daryl Homer  Jeff Spear