The U.S. men’s foil team won the gold medal on Sunday to conclude the 2017 Prince Takamado World Cup in Tokyo.
The reigning world silver medalists defeated the Korean Republic 45-34 in the finals to win the gold medal and the team’s second straight world cup. Japan took the bronze medal with a 45-36 win over Denmark.
The gold medal came one day after three-time Olympian Gerek Meinhardt won the bronze medal in the individual foil.
Team USA included the entire roster from the bronze medal-winning team from the Olympic Games Rio 2016; Miles Chamley-Watson, Race Imboden, Meinhardt and anchor Alexander Massialas.
Massialas, who also won a silver medal in individual foil at the 2016 Olympics and finished the 2016-17 season as the Overall Men’s Foil World Cup Champion, is the first U.S. man in to earn that distinction twice.
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The Americans entered the tournament as the top seed courtesy of their No. 1 world ranking. Team USA regained its No. 1 status after the world cup win in Cairo on Oct. 22. The team had dropped to No. 2 after taking silver at the 2017 world championships.
Team USA defeated host Japan 45-38 in the semifinals after stellar performances in the opening rounds.
“The noise and energy in our semi final [sic] with Japan was super intense,” Team USA coach Greg Massialas said on USA Fencing’s Facebook post. “Fortunately we were ready for it and could quiet the crowd.”
Team USA defeated Brazil 45-34 in its opening match, and then topped Ukraine 45-28 in the quarterfinals.
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.