Tom Pennington/Getty Images

U.S. fencers take bronze in women’s team sabre

Leave a comment

After winning just one medal in London four years, the U.S. fencing team has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts in Rio.

Saturday the women took bronze in the team sabre competition, defeating Italy 45-30 in the bronze medal match. The American team, consisting of Ibtihaj Muhammad, Mariel Zagunis and Dagmara Wozniak, was consistent as they registered five touches in each of their nine bouts. That consistency was key, as the U.S. team built an insurmountable advantage in the middle three bouts of the match.

WATCH: U.S. women take bronze in team sabre

Wozniak’s 5-1 win over Loretta Gulotta in the fourth bout started the run, with Muhammad following with a 5-3 victory and Zagunis winning the sixth bout 5-2. That combined 15-6 total extended the American advantage from four points to 13, as they led 30-17 after six bouts. Zagunis’ 5-3 victory over Rossella Gregorio in the ninth bout gave the United States the victory and their second bronze in women’s team sabre with the first coming in 2008. The U.S. fencing team has now won four medals in Rio, three more than their haul in London.

As for Zagunis, she’s now the first American fencer to win a medal in three different Olympic Games. She was also on that 2008 team that took bronze in the team sabre, the only other time the event has been held. One team event is rotated out at each Olympics, and in 2012 women’s team sabre was the one that was removed.

Russia defeated Ukraine 45-30 to take gold in the women’s team sabre, with their team including the gold and silver medalists in the individual sabre competition. Yana Egorian now has two gold medals in these Olympics, with Sophia Velikaya having a gold medal to go with the silver she earned in individual sabre.

Federica Brignone passes Mikaela Shiffrin for World Cup overall lead

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Italian Federica Brignone passed an absent Mikaela Shiffrin for the World Cup overall standings lead by winning a combined in Switzerland on Sunday.

Brignone prevailed by .92 of a second adding times from super-G and slalom runs in Crans-Montana. Full results are here.

Brignone moved 73 points ahead of Shiffrin in the overall through 29 of 40 scheduled races. A race winner receives 100 points on a descending scale through the 30th-place finisher. The season runs through March 22.

Shiffrin, the three-time reigning World Cup overall champion, has not competed since the unexpected death of her father on Feb. 2. She has not announced if or when she will return this season.

Brignone, 29, is having a career season with five wins and 10 podiums across four disciplines.

Brignone’s best previous World Cup overall standings finish was fifth. She earned giant slalom medals at the 2018 Olympics (bronze) and 2011 World Championships (silver).

She could become Italy’s first female World Cup overall champion. The last Italian male winner was Alberto Tomba in 1995.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves to La Thuile, Italy, for a super-G and a combined next Saturday and Sunday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Alpine skiing season TV schedule

Jade Carey on brink of becoming first gymnast to qualify for U.S. Olympic team

Leave a comment

The U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials aren’t until late June, but Jade Carey is in position to qualify for the Tokyo Games in March.

Carey, seeking an individual Olympic gymnastics spot outside of the team competition, earned the maximum points in a World Cup series that is one path to Olympic qualification.

Carey has three wins each on floor exercise and vault with two World Cups left in March. Carey will mathematically clinch an Olympic spot if no other gymnasts earn maximum points on one of the apparatuses to force a tiebreaker.

A gymnast’s top three finishes across the eight-stop series count in Olympic qualifying. If Carey finishes atop the floor or vault standings, she goes to the Olympics.

Carey picked up those third wins on floor and vault at the sixth World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, this weekend.

So far, no other gymnast has two wins on floor. One other gymnast can get to the maximum points on vault with one win between the last two stops (and others with two).

The one downside to qualifying this route: Carey would not be able to compete in the team competition at the Olympics. Those four spots will be determined at and after June’s trials in St. Louis, with Simone Biles likely grabbing one of them.

“I knew I would be giving up being on the team,” Carey said in October of going the World Cup route, “but I think, for me, it made sense to just go for it.”

Carey is a world medalist on vault and floor, but she doesn’t have the all-around credentials of Biles and some other U.S. gymnasts.

Olympic team event roster sizes were cut from five to four for Tokyo, putting a greater onus on all-around prowess given a team must put three gymnasts on each apparatus in the Olympic final.

The U.S. is the deepest country in women’s gymnastics, so the only truly safe pick to make the four-woman Olympic team event roster is Biles.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Olympic vault champion retires