U.S. Men’s Foil Team Ends World Championships With A Silver Medal
by Paul D. Bowker
Alexander Massialas (R) competes during the men's foil quarterfinals at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 1, 2021 in Chiba, Japan.
For the second day in a row, a U.S. foil team won a silver medal after falling to Italy at the Fencing World Championships in Cairo.
After the women won their silver medal Friday, the men fell 45-39 to the European champions on Saturday, the final day of competition in Egypt.
Three-time Olympian Alexander Massialas joined 2020 Olympic teammate Nick Itkin, who won an individual bronze medal earlier this week. Seventeen-year-old Chase Emmer rounded out the U.S. team.
The U.S. men were the defending world champions from 2019 and have now medaled in the last four world championships and the last two Olympic Games. Massialas, who also won an individual Olympic silver medal in 2016, was a member of all six of those teams.
U.S. fencers won four medals (two silver and two bronze) over nine days in Cairo, doubling Team USA’s medal total of two from the last world championship in 2019.
The American men, seeded third, defeated India, Hungary and Hong Kong on the way to a dramatic semifinal against No. 2 France. Massialas captured the winning point in a 45-44 victory against Enzo Lefort, who won the individual world title earlier this week.
The U.S. never led in the final against top-seeded Italy, but Emmer, who made his senior world championship debut this week, scored five of the first seven points in his match against Alessio Foconi, the 2018 world champion, to pull the U.S. within one point at 32-31.
Italy pulled ahead after that. Battling Massialas in the final matchup of the championship, Daniele Garozzo, the 2016 Olympic champ and 2020 silver medalist, scored the winning point to clinch the title even though Massialas was ahead individually 7-4 at the time.
The U.S. women’s saber team reached the quarterfinals of its tournament Saturday but finished eighth after a 45-33 loss to fourth-seeded Japan. Honor Johnson began the match with a 5-1 victory over Japan’s Misaki Emura. Elizabeth Tartakovsky also had a win for the U.S.