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Rebecca Ward wins sabre World title

Photo by (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
American teenager Rebecca Ward reacts to winning fencing's World title.

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Ward of the U.S. is the new World champion of women's sabre. Ward (Beaverton, Ore.) beat 2004 Olympic gold medalist -- and clubmate -- Mariel Zagunis (21, Beaverton, Ore.) 15-11 in the final for the win.

Zagunis and Ward are members of the same fencing club, Oregon Fencing Alliance, in Beaverton, Ore., and share the same coach -- Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.)

U.S. fencers crowded the podium as 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Sada Jacobson (23, Dunwoody, Ga.) took home the bronze. Jacobson lost to Zagunis 15-10 in the semifinal.

Despite have earned team gold in 2000 and 2005, and having Olympic medals under their belts, this is the first time a U.S. fencer has brought home an individual sabre women's World Championship medal.

Caitlin Thompson (19, Portland, Ore.), also an Oregon Fencing Alliance member and Korfanty student, was eliminated in the round of 32 by Russia's Ekaterina Fedorkina, 15-11.

In the men's epee competition, 2004 Olympian Soren Thompson (25, San Diego, Calif.) turned in the highest U.S. performance, reaching the round of 16 in an gigantic men's field of 171 competitors. Thompson upset 16th seed Jiri Beran of the Czech Republic before falling 15-10 to Estonia's Sven Jarve, the eventual bronze medalist.

2004 Olympian Seth Kelsey (25, Brush Prairie, Wash.) reached the round of 64 before being eliminated by Oleg Skorobogatov of Russia 14-11. Ben Solomon (22, Chagrin Falls, Ohio) lost his bout to reach the table of 64 15-9 to Andres Marc Carrillo Ayana of Cuba. Ben Bratton (21, Richmond Hill, N.Y.) lost a bout in the round of 160 to Joao Cordeiro of Portugal, 15-11.

1. Rebecca Ward USA ... 16, Portland, Ore./Ore. Fenc. Alliance
2. Mariel Zagunis, USA ... 21, Beaverton, Ore./ Ore. Fenc. Alliance /Notre Dame '09
3. Sada Jacobsen, USA ... 23, Dunwoody, Ga./Nellya Fencers
3. Hye Lim Kim, KOR
5. Anne-Lise Youya, FRA 
6. Leonore Perrus, FRA 
7. Ekaterina Diatchenko, RUS
8. Alexandra Bujdoso, GER
23. Caitlin Thompson, USA ... 19, Portland, Ore./ Ore. Fenc. Alliance/Penn State '09

1. Lei Wang, CHN
2. Joaquim Videira, POR
3. Igor Tikhomirov, CAN
3. Sven Jarve, EST
16. Soren Thompson, USA ... 25, San Diego, Calif.
39. Seth Kelsey, USA ... 25, Brush Prairie, Wash.
73. Benjamin Solomon, USA ... 22, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
118. Benjamin Bratton, USA ... 21, Richmond Hill, N.Y.

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