The U.S. men's foil fencing team poses for a photo at the world cup on Jan. 27, 2019 in Tokyo.
The top-ranked U.S. men’s foil fencing team’s streak continues, winning the silver medal in Tokyo on Sunday to make it eight world cup podium finishes in a row.
Not surprisingly, the tournament came down to Italy and the U.S. The two have faced off against one another on the biggest stages often in recent years, with the U.S. winning at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 for the bronze medal and Italy coming away with gold in the past two world championships.
On Sunday it was as tight a competition as you’d expect from the two rivals, with Italy edging the U.S. 45-43 for the championship. They jockeyed for the lead throughout, with the Americans winning four of the first five bouts to take a 25-20 lead past the halfway point. The last four bouts belonged to Italy, however, and in the second-to-last matchup, Andrea Cassara topped two-time Olympian Race Imboden, 7-4, to give Italy a 40-38 lead. Alexander Massialas and Alessio Foconi tied the final bout.
The team of Imboden, Massialas, Miles Chamley-Watson and Gerek Meinhardt had a first-round bye and opened the tournament by defeating Brazil in the second round, 45-22. They beat Poland in the quarterfinals, 45-34, then topped Korea in the semifinals, 45-32.
The U.S. men won six straight world cup gold medals including a five-event sweep in 2018 plus this season’s opener last fall. Their last time out they won a bronze medal in Paris two weeks ago.