Havana, Cuba – Mariel Zagunis easily defeated Italian Gioia Marzocca to claim the gold medal at the Havana World Cup. The victory avenged earlier round losses by Sada Jacobson and Rebecca Ward to Marzocca, who defeated Ward in the 8 and prevailed over Jacobson in the semifinals.
Sada Jacobson cruised through the direct elimination bouts all the way up to the semifinal match with Marzocca. She won her matches 15-10, 15-7, 15-5 before falling 12-15.
Rebecca Ward entered as the #2 seed but had a bit of trouble early on, holding off 34th seed Sakura Kaneko of Japan 15-13 in the round of 32. Ward finished 5th.
The event was missing several of the top European and Asian teams, as they were opting to only send their fencers to the upcoming Grand Prix event in Las Vegas this weekend.
The individual tournament seemed to be more of a tune up for the US fencers as the points in the team event will matter more than individual points for Olympic qualification.
The US is currently ranked #1 in the world in the team event and Zagunis, Ward, and Jacobson are #1, 2, and 4 in the individual standings.