| Event type

Sabre, Individual, Women

Date17 August 2004
LocationAithousa Ksifaskias, Olympiako Syngrotima Ellenikou, Hellinikon
Participants24 from 19 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament.

Ten weeks before the Athens Olympics began, the up and coming American teenager Mariel Zagunis was probably resigned to watching proceedings on TV or, at best, from the side-lines as an alternate on the US team. Zagunis, the 19-year-old daughter of parents who had both taken part in rowing at the 1976 Olympics, had the misfortune to be a single place outside the qualifying positions on the world ranking. However she was then blessed by a piece of good luck when the Nigerian Olympic Committee announced that it would not be taking up the qualifying position earned by its top female fencer. Suddenly Zagunis was back in contention. Ranked only at #3 of the three woman US team, Zagunis was a revelation as the tournament progressed and, as more experienced fencers were defeated, she continued to win and found herself facing former World Champion Tan Xue of China for the Olympic championship. The American youngster galloped into an 8-2 lead and, while the Chinese fencer fought back to close the margin to just three points at one stage, Zagunis rallied to record a comfortable victory by 15-9. Americans fencers had first competed at the Olympic Games in 1900 but only Albertson Van Zo Post had previously clinched Olympic gold and he had done it in the long abandoned discipline of single sticks and against a field entirely populated by Americans. The US team had more to cheer as Zagunis’ compatriot Sada Jacobson won the bronze. Zagunis and Jacobson would return to the Olympics in 2008 and face off against each other in the Olympic final as the US made a rare sweep of the medals.

14Mariel ZagunisUSAGold
25Tan XueCHNSilver
31Sada JacobsonUSABronze
410Cătălina GheorghițoaiaROU
53Yelena NechayevaRUS
68Léonore PerrusFRA
712Yelena JemayevaAZE
815Zhang YingCHN
92Anne-Lise TouyaFRA
106Gioia MarzoccaITA
117Aleksandra SochaPOL
129Emily JacobsonUSA
1311Cécile ArgiolasFRA
1417Ana FáezCUB
1519Madoka HisagaeJPN
1620Louise Bond-WilliamsGBR
1713Susanne KönigGER
1814Orsolya NagyHUN
1916Lee Sin-MiKOR
2018Alejandra BenítezVEN
2121Dariya NedashkovskaUKR
2222Élora PattaroBRA
2323Chow Tsz KiHKG
2424Nafi TouréSEN

Round One

Date17 August 2004 — 10:00
FormatWinner of each match advanced to round two.
MatchDate/TimeLocationCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #117 AugSada Jacobson (1)USAbye
Bout #217 Aug 10:00Piste RedAna Fáez (17)CUB15 – 13Lee Sin-Mi (16)KOR
Bout #317 Aug 10:20Piste RedEmily Jacobson (9)USA15 – 11Chow Tsz Ki (23)HKG
Bout #417 AugLéonore Perrus (8)FRAbye
Bout #517 AugTan Xue (5)CHNbye
Bout #617 Aug 10:00Piste GreenCécile Argiolas (11)FRA15 – 9Dariya Nedashkovska (21)UKR
Bout #717 Aug 10:20Piste GreenLouise Bond-Williams (20)GBR15 – 13Susanne König (13)GER
Bout #817 AugYelena Nechayeva (3)RUSbye
Bout #917 AugMariel Zagunis (4)USAbye
Bout #1017 Aug 10:00Piste BlueMadoka Hisagae (19)JPN15 – 14Orsolya Nagy (14)HUN
Bout #1117 Aug 10:20Piste BlueYelena Jemayeva (12)AZE15 – 8Élora Pattaro (22)BRA
Bout #1217 AugGioia Marzocca (6)ITAbye
Bout #1317 AugAleksandra Socha (7)POLbye
Bout #1417 Aug 10:00Piste YellowCătălina Gheorghițoaia (10)ROU15 – 6Nafi Touré (24)SEN
Bout #1517 Aug 10:20Piste YellowZhang Ying (15)CHN15 – 9Alejandra Benítez (18)VEN
Bout #1617 AugAnne-Lise Touya (2)FRAbye

Round Two

Date17 August 2004 — 10:40
FormatWinner of each match advanced to round three.
MatchDate/TimeLocationCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #117 Aug 10:40Piste GreenSada Jacobson (1)USA15 – 4Ana Fáez (17)CUB
Bout #217 Aug 11:00Piste GreenLéonore Perrus (8)FRA15 – 13Emily Jacobson (9)USA
Bout #317 Aug 10:40Piste YellowTan Xue (5)CHN15 – 11Cécile Argiolas (11)FRA
Bout #417 Aug 11:00Piste YellowYelena Nechayeva (3)RUS15 – 12Louise Bond-Williams (20)GBR
Bout #517 Aug 10:40Piste BlueMariel Zagunis (4)USA15 – 13Madoka Hisagae (19)JPN
Bout #617 Aug 11:00Piste RedYelena Jemayeva (12)AZE15 – 6Gioia Marzocca (6)ITA
Bout #717 Aug 10:40Piste RedCătălina Gheorghițoaia (10)ROU15 – 12Aleksandra Socha (7)POL
Bout #817 Aug 11:00Piste BlueZhang Ying (15)CHN15 – 12Anne-Lise Touya (2)FRA


Date17 August 2004 — 11:30
FormatWinner of each match advanced to semi-finals.
MatchDate/TimeLocationCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #117 Aug 11:30Piste GreenSada Jacobson (1)USA15 – 11Léonore Perrus (8)FRA
Bout #217 Aug 11:30Piste YellowTan Xue (5)CHN15 – 7Yelena Nechayeva (3)RUS
Bout #317 Aug 11:30Piste BlueMariel Zagunis (4)USA15 – 11Yelena Jemayeva (12)AZE
Bout #417 Aug 11:30Piste RedCătălina Gheorghițoaia (10)ROU15 – 13Zhang Ying (15)CHN


Date17 August 2004 — 18:30
FormatWinner of each match advanced to final.
MatchDate/TimeLocationCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout #117 Aug 18:30Piste FinalTan Xue (5)CHN15 – 12Sada Jacobson (1)USA
Bout #217 Aug 18:50Piste FinalMariel Zagunis (4)USA15 – 10Cătălina Gheorghițoaia (10)ROU

Final Round

Date17 August 2004 — 20:25
MatchDate/TimeLocationCompetitor (Seed)NOCResultCompetitor (Seed)NOC
Bout 1/217 Aug 21:15Piste FinalMariel Zagunis (4)USA15 – 9Tan Xue (5)CHN
Bout 3/417 Aug 20:25Piste FinalSada Jacobson (1)USA15 – 7Cătălina Gheorghițoaia (10)ROU