After losing in the Round of 16 in the men’s foil competition in London four years ago, American fencer Alexander Massialas arrived in Rio with hopes of at the very least making his way onto the medal stand.
Massialas accomplished that but fell short in his quest for an Olympic gold medal, as he lost to Italy’s Daniele Garozzo in the gold medal match. Garozzo hung on for the 15-11 victory, with Massialas attempting to come back after the Italian went on a run of seven consecutive points. Garozzo’s run began with the match tied at seven points apiece, placing him one point away from his first Olympic gold medal.
But Massialas didn’t fold, scoring four consecutive points to stave off defeat for the time being. Garozzo would ultimately score the decisive point, touching off a wild celebration just minutes after he prematurely celebrated with the score at 14-10. The last time the United States won a men’s individual fencing medal was when Peter Westbrook took home bronze at the 1984 Games.
Russia’s Timur Safin won the bronze medal with a 15-13 victory over Great Britain’s Richard Kruse, who lost to Massialas in the semifinal round.