Eli Dershwitz competes at the Men's Saber World Cup on Feb. 2, 2019 in Warsaw, Poland.
When 2016 Olympian Eli Dershwitz scored the winning point Saturday in Warsaw, Poland, he let out a shout and pumped a fist.
For the first time this season, the world’s top-ranked fencer in men’s sabre won a world cup tournament, showing the form that resulted in two world cup gold medals and a world championship silver medal last year.
Dershwitz, seeded No. 2 in Warsaw, defeated fourth-seeded Luca Curatoli of Italy in the championship match 15-9.
Dershwitz, who made his Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio, reached No. 1 in the world last year following a season in which he won two world cup tournaments and won the silver medal at the world championships. But in the opening world cup of this season, he didn’t get past the round of 32.
Dershwitz reached Saturday’s final with a dramatic 15-14 victory over third-seeded Sanguk Oh of South Korea in the semifinals. He faced U.S. Olympic teammate Daryl Homer in the round of 16, and won 15-13. Homer, a two-time Olympian who is ranked 16th, wound up with a 12th-place finish.
Dershwitz will team up with Homer, Khalil Thompson and Andrew Mackiewicz in the team tournament Sunday. The U.S. is seeded seventh.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.