| Event type

Sabre, Team, Men

Date17 August 2008
LocationGuojia Huiyi Zhongxin, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants29 from 8 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament.

That France should reach the 2008 Olympic final was not a surprise since they had been World Champions in 2006 and silver medallists the following year. In addition they had produced two of the semi-finalists in the individual event that took place a few days earlier. However their opponents could not reasonably have been predicted at the start of the Games. By 2008 the USA had established themselves as one of the strongest nations in the women’s side of the sport but success amongst male fencers had not matched that of American female fencers.

US hopes of a medal seemed sure to be thwarted when there were drawn against the Hungarian World Champions in the first round and when Keeth Smart took to the piste the Americans trailed Hungary 40-36. Smart then proceeded to win 9 of the next 13 to clinch an unlikely sudden death victory for his team. Amazingly Smart repeated the feat in the semi-final taking the USA from a five point deficit to another sudden death victory by 45-44 over Russia. What made Smart’s feat even more remarkable was that his comeback came against Stanislav Pozdnyakov, widely acknowledged as the best sabre fencer of his generation.

For the Americans the Olympic championship was one fairy tale too far and reality set in the form of Nicolas Lopez, Julien Pillet and Boris Sanson. Smart made one last effort to peg back the French lead but this time the margin was too much and France ran out winners by 45-37. Smart’s sister Erinn matched her brother’s feat with a silver medal in team foil. Italy took the bronze medal in yet another match that was decided by a single point.

Nicolas LopezJulien PilletBoris Sanson
2United StatesUSASilver
Tim MorehouseJason RogersKeeth SmartJames Williams
Aldo MontanoDiego OcchiuzziGiampiero PastoreLuigi Tarantino
4Russian FederationRUS
Nikolay KovalyovStanislav PozdnyakovAleksey Yakimenko
Aliaksandr BuikevichDzmitry LapkesValery Pryiemka
6People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Huang YaojiangWang JingzhiZhong ManZhou Hanming
Tamás DecsiBalázs LontayZsolt NemcsikÁron Szilágyi
Gamal FathyTamim GhazyMahmoud SamirShadi Talaat

Round One

Date17 August 2008 — 9:30
FormatWinner of each match advanced to semi-finals.
Match #117 Aug 9:30FranceFRA45 – 31EgyptEGY
Match #217 Aug 9:30ItalyITA45 – 39BelarusBLR
Match #317 Aug 9:30Russian FederationRUS45 – 36People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match #417 Aug 9:30United StatesUSA45 – 44HungaryHUN


Date17 August 2008 — 11:40
FormatWinner of each match advanced to final pool.
Match #117 Aug 11:40FranceFRA45 – 41ItalyITA
Match #217 Aug 11:40United StatesUSA45 – 44Russian FederationRUS

Classification Round 5-8

Date17 August 2008 — 10:40
Match #117 Aug 10:40BelarusBLR45 – 22EgyptEGY
Match #217 Aug 10:40People's Republic of ChinaCHN45 – 38HungaryHUN

Final Round

Date17 August 2008
Match 1/217 Aug 19:00FranceFRA45 – 37United StatesUSA
Match 3/417 Aug 18:00ItalyITA45 – 44Russian FederationRUS
Match 5/617 Aug 12:50BelarusBLR45 – 39People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Match 7/817 Aug 12:50HungaryHUN45 – 25EgyptEGY