On Saturday evening at ExCeL Arena, the U.S. women’s epee team – consisting of Maya Lawrence, Courtney Hurley and Kelley Hurley – defeated Russia, 31-30, in overtime of the bronze-medal match. China defeated Korea, 39-25, to claim the gold medal.
The U.S. squad, with two first-time Olympians and two sisters, still can’t believe how well they all fit together.
"The team came together perfectly,” said Kelley Hurley. “It's like a dream come true. It's the best moment of my life so far. We have a medal. It's awesome."
The U.S. started off even with Russia, but fell back, 15-11, after the fourth bout. The Hurley sisters were able to pull off wins in the next two bouts by a combined score of 8-3 in order to give the U.S. a 19-18 overall advantage.
The Americans held a 27-25 advantage going into the final bout, however, the Russians battled back to force the extra session with the score tied at 30-30.
Courtney Hurley needed just 16 seconds in the overtime bout to seal a spot on the medal stand for the United States.
Earlier in the day, Team USA found itself down 20-18 to Italy in the quarterfinals after the fourth bout, but went on a 12-3 run over the next two bouts to grab the lead. Never looking back, the team finished off Italy, 45-34, to advance to the semifinals.
Korea then put up a strong fight in the semifinal match and was able to overcome the U.S., 45-36. The Americans were within two points after the sixth bout, but couldn’t gain the victory.
"We haven't lost to Korea in a really long time, in a couple of years. That was really tough, because we've usually fenced them really well,” said Lawrence. “But today they fenced really well, they were just amazing.”
With the medal, the U.S. women’s fencing team has now medaled in team foil (2008), team sabre (2008) and team epee (2012) over the past two Olympic Games.