Prior to Friday the last time the United States won a medal in the men’s team foil competition was 1932. Thanks to Gerek Meinhardt, Alexander Massialas, Miles Chamley-Watson and Race Imboden, that dry spell came to an end in Rio.
After falling to Russia in the semifinal round the Americans rebounded in the bronze medal match, beating Italy 45-31 to earn the nation’s first medal in that event in 84 years. After victories by Daniele Garozzo and Giorgia Avola gave Italy a 20-17 lead through four bouts, Meinhardt shifted the momentum of the bronze medal match by posting a dominant 8-0 win over Andrea Baldina. Massialas would follow with a 5-1 win over Garozzo, and Meinahrdt’s 5-1 win over Avola gave the Americans a 35-22 lead through seven bouts.
WATCH: U.S. takes bronze in men’s team foil
Imboden and Massialas’ bouts would close out the match for the U.S., which defeated the reigning World and Olympic champions in taking bronze. The U.S. has now won three Olympic medals in fencing in Rio, with Massialas being responsible for two of them. Massialas took silver in the individual foil, losing to Garozzo in the gold medal match, and Daryl Homer took silver in the individual sabre.
Massialas became the first American fencer to win two medals in the same Olympics since 1932, when Joseph Levis accomplished that feat.
France and Russia advanced to the gold medal match, with Russia coming back to win 45-41. The Russians trailed after each of the first seven bouts, but an emphatic 10-3 win by Artur Akhmatkhuzin in the eighth bout sparked the turnaround that earned Russia the gold medal.
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.
Three sports begin their 2016 Olympics on Saturday morning in Rio, and we have your streaming links to all of them right here.
Women’s Team Archery Round of 16 — 8 a.m. ET
Women’s Team quarters, semis, medals — 1 p.m. ET
It’s the women’s turn to fire away, and South Korea has won all seven gold medals awarded in this competition.
Table Tennis: Men’s, Women’s Rounds 2 & 3
Table tennis moves onward, one day after a frenetic start to the tourney.
Men’s blue, green, red, yellow piste — 8 a.m. ET
Men’s semis, medal matches — 3 p.m. ET
American foil man Alexander Massialas is back, and perhaps favored to take a medal, while French fencer Gauthier Grumier is not only a favorite, he has a wonderful fencing name. Rolls off the tongue.