Two points is all that separated Eli Dershwitz from standing atop the podium at the Villa de Madrid, a men’s saber fencing world cup held in Madrid this weekend.
In the final, Dershwitz fell 15-14 to Germany’s Max Hartung. Still, the silver medal was a victory for the American as it marked his first-ever individual world cup medal.
Ranked No. 10 in the world, Dershwitz’s previous best world cup placement was seventh in 2016 in Poland.
To reach the gold-medal match against No. 9 Hartung, Dershwitz downed 37th-ranked Nicolas Rousset of France, 15-13, followed by No. 61 Enver Yildirim of Turkey, 15-10, and No. 57 Riccardo Nuccio of Italy, 15-9.
In the quarterfinal, Dershwitz made quick work of Italy’s 12th-ranked Luigi Samele, 15-10, before dominating in an impressive 15-8 semifinal over world No. 2 Aron Szilagyi of Hungary.
Dershwitz’s individual silver is added to his five team world cup medals – two golds and three silvers earned from 2014-16.
Individually, he has won three junior world championships medals (gold – 2015, silver – 2012, bronze – 2013), Pan American Games gold in 2015 and a grand prix gold medal in Seoul, South Korea, last year that solidified his spot on his first Olympic team last year. He finished 19th in Rio.