Alexander Massialas

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American fencer Alexander Massialas wins silver in men’s foil

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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.

WATCH LIVE: Start Olympics’ Day 2 with Archery, Fencing, Table Tennis

Photo by Serge Timacheff/FIE via Getty Images
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Three sports begin their 2016 Olympics on Saturday morning in Rio, and we have your streaming links to all of them right here.

WATCH LIVE:

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.

WATCH LIVE:

Table Tennis: Men’s, Women’s Rounds 2 & 3

Table tennis moves onward, one day after a frenetic start to the tourney.

WATCH LIVE:

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.

Two more fencers qualify for U.S. Olympic team

Alexander Massialas
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Nowhere is the U.S. more deep in fencing than in men’s foil, with four of the top 10 in the world.

Two of those four qualified for the Rio Olympics based on rankings updated after a competition last weekend — world No. 1 Alexander Massialas and No. 6 Gerek Meinhardt.

Expect No. 5 Race Imboden and No. 10 Miles Chamley-Watson to join them on the Rio team, qualifying by mid-April. That quartet also made up the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s foil team.

They are the 19th and 20th members of the U.S. Olympic team across all sports. View the complete roster here.

Imboden and Chamley-Watson are now battling to see who will be the third individual U.S. men’s foil fencer in Rio, with the fourth going to the Games as a possible competitor in the team event only.

Though Imboden is ranked higher internationally, it’s Chamley-Watson who controls his own destiny as he is better-placed in U.S. Fencing rankings that determine the Rio roster.

Since 2014, Massialas, Meinhardt and Imboden have all been ranked No. 1 in the world at one time or another. Chamley-Watson is a former world No. 2 and the only U.S. man to earn a World or Olympic title (2013 Worlds) in any fencing event.

Massialas took silver and Meinhardt bronze at the 2015 World Championships. Imboden reached the round of 16. Chamley-Watson lost in the first round to German Peter Joppich, a four-time World champion.

At the London Olympics, Massialas and Imboden were eliminated in the round of 16 and Chamley-Watson in the round of 32.

Meinhardt, who competed at Beijing 2008 as the youngest U.S. Olympic fencer ever, joined them in the team event, where the U.S. fell in the semifinals and the bronze-medal matchup. All were age 22 and younger at the London Games.

With four of the top 10 in the world, the U.S. could go into Rio as the favorite in the team event, though it fell in the 2015 Worlds quarterfinals to eventual champion Italy.

U.S. women’s sabre fencers Mariel Zagunis and Ibtihaj Muhammad qualified for the Olympics the previous weekend.

VIDEO: Chamley-Watson takes fencing to New York City streets