Team USA is sending its most decorated U.S. men's foil fencing team in Olympic history to this summer's Rio Olympic Games.
In January, the U.S. men were the No. 1-ranked team in the world, qualifying for the team event in Rio and for three individual spots. In February, 2015 world silver medalist Alex Massialas and two-time world bronze medalist Gerek Meinhardt secured two of the three spots on the team.
One month later, 2013 world champion Miles Chamley-Watson has earned his spot on the team to round out the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Foil Fencing Team. Chamley-Watson qualified by finishing third in the USA Fencing national senior team point standings. The top three athletes in the standings qualified for the Olympic team for both the individual and team competitions.
The third spot on the team came down to Chamley-Watson and Race Imboden, who last season became the first U.S. man to win an overall world cup title. Imboden will finish fourth in the standings and serve as the replacement athlete in Rio for the team event.
Rio will be Chamley-Watson’s second Olympic Games; he competed with Massialas, Meinhardt and Imboden on the fourth-place team in London in 2012, when he also finished 25th in the individual competition. In 2013, Chamley-Watson became the first U.S. men’s fencer ever to win an individual senior world championship title and won silver in the team event as part of the first U.S. men’s foil team ever to win a world championship medal. Currently ranked 10th in the world, he earned gold at the 2015 Shanghai Grand Prix and silver at the 2016 Bonn World Cup.
With Chamley-Watson’s qualification, the U.S. foil team is now complete. Women’s foil fencers Lee Kiefer and Nzingha Prescod punched their tickets to Rio on Saturday. They join epee fencers Kelley Hurley and Courtney Hurley, and saber fencers Mariel Zagunis, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Daryl Homer on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team. Four more fencers are expected to qualify for Team USA.