During the 2006-2007 season the US men’s saber top eight had a historic and breakthrough season putting more American fencers in the finals and top-16s than in any previous season. The results demonstrated that the US men’s saber fencers are a force to be reckoned with on the international stage and that trend has continued into the 2007-2008 Olympic qualifying season.
In world cups in Kish Island, Iran and Istanbul, Turkey, Tim Morehouse led the way as he reached the quarter finals in both events finishing 6th and 5th respectively while improving his world ranking to a career high 11th. Over the course of the two weekends, Morehouse notched victories over Germans Bjorn Hubner, Dennis Bauer and top Junior, Max Hartung, while losing a closely contested match 13-15 to Zsolt Nemscik of Hungary, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, in his bid to reach the top-4 in Iran.
Ben Igoe also continued his strong fencing from the past season with two top-16 performances that included a thrilling come from behind victory over Tamas Desci of Hungary. Igoe had been trailing 8-2 at the break, but he was able to mount a furious comeback to win 15-14. Igoe’s results also included a victory over the top 16th ranked fencer, Jung Hwan Kim from Korea. Tim Hagamen and Ivan Lee both reached the top-16 in Kish Island while Jason Rogers and Keeth Smart reached the top-16 in Istanbul. Smart’s results improved his world ranking to 14th. James Williams had two top-32 finishes at both events and Patrick Ghattas finished in the top-32 in Iran and then competed this past weekend in Atlanta, where he took the bronze medal.
The US men’s national team will resume competing in two weeks in Athens, Greece. There are four remaining Grand Prix team events and the US men will need to fence well to solidify the team’s qualification for Beijing Olympics and improve upon its world ranking. If the team qualifies, which looks likely right now, then the men’s saber group will have 5 more designated world cups remaining over the next two months plus Nationals in Portland, Oregon to decide the team that will go to China. Five world cups out of seven will count in addition to two national results. The next two world cups are Grand Prixs in Athens, Greece and Budapest, Hungary.
Complete results from Istanbul, Turkey: Link
Link to Tableau: