By Gary R. Blockus | July 26, 2017, 3:53 p.m. (ET)

(L-R) Alexander Massialas, Gerek Meinhardt, Race Imboden and Miles Chamley-Watson celebrate after winning silver in men's team foil at the 2017 FIE World Championships on July 26, 207 in Leipzig, Germany.

 

The United States matched its best-ever podium finish in men’s team foil on Wednesday to conclude the 2017 FIE World Championships in Leipzig, Germany.

The U.S. team of Alexander Massialas, Race Imboden, Miles Chamley-Watson and Gerek Meinhardt finished with a silver medal after dropping a 45-41 match to Italy in the championship final. 

It was a measure of revenge for the Italians as this same U.S. team previously met Italy in the bronze medal match at Olympic Games Rio 2016, a 45-31 win for Team USA.

Massialas, who also won a silver medal in individual foil in Rio, learned earlier in the day that he ended the 2016-17 season as the Overall Men’s Foil World Cup Champion, becoming the first U.S. man in history to earn the distinction twice. Massialas finished fifth at the world championships and climbed back into to the No. 1 world ranking to pass 2016 Olympic champion Daniele Garozzo of Italy, who won the bronze medal at the world championships, by one point.

Massialas also earned the Overall World Cup title for 2015-16, with Imboden winning it in 2014-15, giving U.S. fencers the last three Overall World Cup titles in foil.

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But it was Garozzo and the Italians who had the last laugh in Wednesday’s team foil gold medal match, as they rallied past U.S. leads of 15-8 and 20-13. Massialas scored 16 touches and Chamley-Watson 15 for the U.S.

The U.S. men made it to the final following a 45-29 win over Russia in the semifinals and a 45-34 win over Korea in the quarterfinals.

The silver medal equals the result from the foil team’s 2013 finish, and is just the fourth time in world championship history the U.S. has reached the podium for a men’s team event. The U.S. epee team won team silver in 2010 and gold in 2012.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.