After coming up empty-handed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, saber fencer Daryl Homer will have the opportunity to go for gold once again. Homer mathematically guaranteed himself a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team by virtue of his finish at the world cup in Warsaw, Poland.
Homer finished 33rd in Warsaw but pulled in enough points to remain No. 8 in the FIE Adjusted Olympic Rankings. The top 14 fencers qualify for Rio and, with only one tournament remaining in the qualifying period, Homer is now guaranteed to hold one of those top 14 spots. The rankings officially close next month and all qualified athletes will be formally announced after the Seoul Grand Prix, held from March 25-27.
A four-time NCAA All-American at St. John's University, Homer became the first American man to win an individual saber world championship medal when he took silver in 2015. Less than two weeks later, he took team gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Also in 2015, he won silver at the Pan American Championships to tack another medal onto a stellar record; he won bronze in 2014 and 2013 and gold from 2010-2012. At his first Olympic Games in 2012, Homer placed sixth in the individual competition and eighth with the team. With no men's saber team competition in Rio, he will look to reach the podium solo.
Homer will be joined on the Olympic team by one other men's saber fencer. Currently sitting in 10th place in the rankings is Eli Dershwitz; should he remain in the top 14, he would be making his Olympic debut in Rio. Dershwitz placed seventh in Warsaw, his career-best world cup finish.
The first men's saber fencer to be named to the Olympic team, Homer will be joined in Rio by women's saber fencers Mariel Zagunis and Ibtihaj Muhammad, men's foil fencers Gerek Meinhardt and Alex Massialas, and women's epee fencers Courtney and Kelly Hurley.