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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | FENCING

Americans Foiled in Medal Quest

July 26, 1996|Times Wire Services

There were no surprises in the team foil competitions as Italy retained the women's title and Russia won the men's championship.

Italy overpowered Romania, 45-33 in the final behind the performance of Francesca Bortolozzi Borella, a late substitution because of injury.

The U.S. women's fencing team had expected to compete for its first Olympic medal at home. But they lost to Poland, 45-44, in the first round, then won, 45-12, over a weak Argentina team before losing, 45-39, to Israel.

The U.S. team finished 10th in the 11-team field.

"If we didn't expect to win a medal, we wouldn't be disappointed," said Suzy Paxton, a member of the U.S. team. "When there are expectations, it is more disappointing."

The Russian men, who a day earlier won men's team sabre, captured their title with a 45-40 victory over Poland.

In the seventh of nine relays, Ilgar Mamedove outscored Poland's Piotr Kielpikowski, 7-3, to give Russia the lead for good.

The U.S. men's foil team, like the women, finished next to last.

Cliff Bayer and Peter Devin of New York and Nick Bravin of Los Angeles lost, 45-32, in their opening bout against Austria. They beat Venezuela, 45-35, before losing to China, 45-42.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Medalists / Fencing

MEN'S TEAM FOIL

Gold: Russia

Silver: Poland

Bronze: Cuba

*

WOMEN'S TEAM FOIL

Gold: Italy

Silver: Romania

Bronze: Germany

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