The men’s sabre team of Tim Morehouse, Jason Rogers, and Keeth Smart used a 9-4 run in the final bout to overcome 2nd ranked Hungary 45-44 in the opening round of the Olympic men’s team sabre event. 

{sidebar id=1}The US team, seeded 7th and ranked 9th in the FIE world rankings, held close to Hungary throughout the match.  The US held slim leads after the 3rd and 4th bouts and then Hungary edged ahead.

The Hungarian team of Tamas Decsi, Zsolt Nemcsik, and Aron Szilagyi were never able to put the Americans away.  Desci finally used a 5-2 bout over Morehouse to give Hungary some breathing room as Hungary lead 40-36 going into the 9th and final bout.

The US turned to Keeth Smart to close the match.  Smart started off with a 5-1 run to tie the match at 41-all.  As the stunned Nemcsik searched for an answer to Smart’s long attacks and ripostes, Smart climed to a 44-42 lead. 

After one touch was annulled for crossing the feet, (crossing forward with the feet is illegal in sabre competition) Nemcsik evened the score at 44-44.  Smart would take the final touch and the jubulent crowd celebrated the US win.

This win mirrors the early round upset of the world champion Polish team by the US women’s foil team just the day before.  The women went on to claim silver.