Keeth Smart that is. He is the first U.S. Saber fencer to be ranked #1 in the world. This isn’t going to be like his coach Peter Westbrook, who won a medal because the Soviets boycotted the Olympics. He has a real chance at winning, even if he still has to hold down a day job a Verizon. You can stay informed at Fencing.net, although the fact that an American might do well could mean that they actually show Olympic fencing on TV for a change…
(I know, sports news is rare around here, I don’t even have a category for “sports”, but I used to fence in College and even taught and coached a little. I haven’t fenced in years, but I still like to know what’s going on with the U.S. Olympic team.)
UPDATE: Looks like he didn’t make it:
Italy’s Aldo Montano landed gold in the men’s individual sabre, beating Hungarian Zsolt Nemcsik 15-14 in a thrilling final.
But it sounds like an exciting match. I hope I got it on TiVo!
I was a Foil fencer myself. Here is a preview of what’s to be expected on Monday. Looks like the Italians have that locked up as well.
UPDATE: Tivo got the final 15-14 match — very exciting! At one point, when it was close to the end, Montano scored a touch with a beautiful point-in-line. This means that as Nemcsik approached he would have had to deflect Montano’s blade before landing his touch. This is a bold move because it is fairly easy to deflect the blade in sabre, but Montano kept his cool, avoided the parry, and won the point. Truly beautiful to watch!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the foil finals will be broadcast here in the U.S. I guess because the U.S. team doesn’t stand a chance… Or maybe they think foil just doesn’t make for good T.V.?
One very cool thing is that now the masks they wear in Sabre have clear plastic over the eyes, rather than wire mesh, so you can actually see your opponents eyes! The announcers said that the other weapons don’t yet use these new masks.