Daryl Homer

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WATCH LIVE: U.S. fencer Homer competes for gold in individual sabre

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Having won three Olympic medals in the history of the men’s individual sabre event, the United States is assured of its fourth medal thanks to Daryl Homer.

The only question now is whether or not Homer, who advanced with a 15-14 win over Iran’s Mojtaba Abedini in the semifinals, can win the nation’s first-ever gold medal in the event. Homer, a native of the Bronx who took up the sport in a program established by Peter Westbrook, America’s last medalist in the men’s individual sabre, faces Aron Szilagyi of Hungary in the gold medal bout.

WATCH LIVE: Men’s individual sabre gold medal bout — 6:45 p.m. Eastern

Fellow American Eli Dershwitz was eliminated from the competition in the Round of 32 by Belgium’s Seppe van Holsbeke. The gold medal bout is scheduled to begin at approximately 6:45 p.m., and it is available at NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Daryl Homer makes second U.S. Olympic fencing team

Daryl Homer
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Daryl Homer, the only U.S. man to earn an individual World Fencing Championships sabre medal, clinched a berth in a second straight Olympics on Saturday.

Homer, 25, lost in the first round of a World Cup event in Warsaw, Poland, but his international ranking is high enough that he clinched the first of two U.S. men’s sabre spots in Rio.

Homer lost in the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals, earned silver at the 2015 World Championships and is ranked No. 7 in the world.

Homer, seeking to become the first U.S. Olympic individual men’s sabre medalist since 1984 and first gold medalist ever, will be joined on the U.S. men’s sabre team in Rio by either World junior champion Eli Dershwitz or 2012 Olympian Jeff Spear.

However, Homer and Dershwitz or Spear will compete individually only in Rio as there is no men’s team sabre at the Games this year.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Rio Olympics

U.S. fencing wins its most medals ever at a World Championships

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The U.S. fencing team won five medals at the World Championships last week, its most ever at a single Worlds, which could portend similar success at the Rio Olympics.

Alexander Massialas (silver, foil), Daryl Homer (silver, sabre), Gerek Meinhardt (foil, bronze) and Nzingha Prescod (foil, bronze) earned individual medals. The women’s sabre team also captured bronze.

The previous U.S. best for Worlds medals came in 2006, when Rebecca WardMariel Zagunis and Sada Jacobson earned gold, silver and bronze in the individual sabre and were part of the silver-medal-winning sabre team.

In 2008, the U.S. Olympic fencing team took home six medals, including a women’s sabre medals sweep. In 2012, the tally was one bronze medal.

The U.S. fencing team earned the five medals in Moscow last week despite its biggest star, the two-time Olympic champion Zagunis, being upset in the round of 16, her lowest Worlds finish in 10 years.

More medals are awarded at Worlds than at the Olympics. At Worlds, the program includes 12 events with individual event bronze medals given to both semifinal losers.

At the Olympics, the program includes 10 events with semifinal losers facing off for one bronze medal. The 2016 Olympic program does not include men’s team sabre or women’s team foil.

U.S. fencers could be boosted by the Olympics taking place in Brazil, which is closer to the U.S. than it is to the fencing world powers in Europe and Asia (Russia won nine medals at Worlds; Italy five).

The four U.S. fencers who won individual medals last week are all 2012 Olympians who are 25 years or younger.

Another American, Race Imboden, is ranked No. 1 in the world in men’s foil. American Miles Chamley-Watson won the 2013 World title in that event. Both Imboden and Chamley-Watson are 2012 Olympians and age 25 or younger.

There’s also women’s foil fencer Lee Kiefer, a 21-year-old 2012 Olympian, who is ranked No. 4 in the world.

At the London Olympics, in only two sports did the U.S. have more than four different individual medal winners (track and field and swimming). The No. 3 sport for overall U.S. medals was gymnastics with six.

Fencing may prove a very valuable sport for the U.S. as it looks to top the overall medal table for a sixth straight Olympics.

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