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The United States Women’s Fencing Team earned the bronze medal by defeating France 45-38. This is the second fencing medal in the 2008 Games for Mariel Zagunis (Portland, Ore.), Sada Jacobson (Dunwoody, Ga.) and Becca Ward (Portland Ore.) who swept the gold, silver and bronze medals in the individual contest, respectively.

{sidebar id=1}Bronze medal bouts are exercises in perseverence. The athletes at these games are competing for the gold medal, so fencing off for the bronze can be a mixed blessing. "I’m not going to lie: I was very disappointed. The gold medal is what I came to get today," said US fencer Sada Jacobson. "I’m proud of how I fenced today, but I can only control my own fencing."

After their semifinal loss, US fencer Becca Ward said that the team needed "to regroup, and hopefully pull ourselves together before the next match."

The bronze medal bout started off with a bang for the US as Becca Ward charged out to a 5-3 lead agasint Solenn Mary. Zagunis kept the pressure on, but then ran into a tough patch against Leonore Perrus who scored 5 unanswered points in the middle of their match. Perrus and Zagunis traded touches and the bout ended with the US clinging to a 10-9 lead.

Jacobson and Carole Vergne would trade touches before Vergne closed the bout with a 3-0 run to put the French team up 15-14. Mary would contine with a 5-3 bout against Zagunis and the US found themselves down by three touches, 20-17.


Becca ward stepped up for the US squad and reeled off three straight points to tie the match. Ward had just the night before had a stomach bug and had looked off her game in the semifinal loss. All effects of the sickness seemed gone, however, as Ward continued to control the bout over Vergne 8-2 to put the US up by three points, 25-22.

Jacobson held onto the lead, fencing Perrus to a 5-5 stalemate and the match remained at 3: 30-27. Zagunis would go 5-1 in her next bout against Vergne to put the US up 35-28 and Jacobson would extend the lead by another touch to hand the reigns over to Ward with a score of 40-32.

The French were down, but would not give up and Perrus scored three straight points. Ward would not be denied the bronze, however, and closed out the bout 5-6 giving the victory to the US, 45-38.

The US team showed perseverence and kept fighting to win the bronze. Is this the last for this team, or could they make another run in London, 2012?

"That’s it for me" said Sada Jacobson, who jokingly added "Maybe I’ll switch to winter Olympics and do speed skating. I’ve got the quads."

Related Stories:
US Women Sweep Individual Medals
US Women’s Team Out Early – Fence for Bronze