Anna Marton

Mariel Zagunis has lowest World Championships finish since 2005

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Two-time Olympic fencing champion Mariel Zagunis was upset in the round of 16 at the World Championships in Moscow on Tuesday, marking her lowest finish at Worlds or the Olympics in 10 years.

Zagunis, 30, was beaten by Hungary’s Anna Marton 15-9. Marton, 20 and ranked 14th in the world, is the youngest women’s sabre fencer in the top 45 of the world rankings.

South Korean 2012 Olympic champion Kim Ji-yeon lost in the round of 32. Two-time reigning World champion Olga Kharlan of Ukraine lost in the round of 16.

Zagunis took silver to Kharlan at the 2014 World Championships and had reached at least the quarterfinals of every Worlds and Olympics since 2005, when countrywoman Becca Ward beat her in the Worlds round of 16.

In 2016, Zagunis could become the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s individual fencing medalist ever. She carried the U.S. flag at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

In men’s event, Daryl Homer won silver for the first Worlds sabre medal by a U.S. man, falling in the final to Russian Aleksei Yakimenko.

Homer, who finished sixth at the 2012 Olympics and was eliminated in the round of 32 at the 2013 and 2014 Worlds, beat top-ranked South Korean Gu Bongil in the quarterfinals.

The World Fencing Championships continue through Sunday, with the team sabre events Friday.

Mariel Zagunis reflects on being flag bearer, looks at her top rival and 2016, 2020 (and 2024?)