US Fencing Saturday - USFA Update

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  1. Craig

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    Bloom reaches second round of Olympic epee

    by Will Hancock - U.S. Olympic Committee (8113-0232)

    U.S. fencer falls to world's No. 1 epeeist


    SYDNEY, Australia -- U.S. men's epeeist Tamir Bloom reached the second round
    of Saturday's competition before losing to the top-ranked player in the
    world as Olympic fencing competition began.

    Competing against No. 1-ranked Arnd Schmitt of Germany, 59th-ranked Bloom
    nearly came all the way back from a 6-1 deficit, cutting Schmitt's lead to
    8-7 with just over one minute remaining. But Schmitt regained command of the
    match, and although Bloom cut the lead to two touches, Schmitt advanced with
    a 15-12 victory.

    "It's certainly tough to go up against the No. 1 player in the world," said
    Bloom, who officially finished 29th in the event. "Being down five touches
    was tough since he knew I'd have to attack. But this has been a great
    experience. I had a choice when I injured my knee a few months ago, but I
    decided to put off surgery so I could attend the Olympics. Being out on the
    strip here in this atmosphere against one of the best players in the world
    is what it's all about."

    Bloom's coach, Yefim Litvan, was impressed with the bout.

    "I don't remember anyone coming back like that against this guy [Schmitt]
    because he's one of the best," Litvan said. "I told Tamir, 'You did a good
    job. You had nothing to lose, so this was your chance to show your best
    fencing.' Unfortunately, he started a little stiff, but after the second
    period, he put up a good fight."

    Bloom won a tension-filled bout with Andrei Murashko of Belarus to reach the
    round of 32. The fencers entered the third and final period tied 1-1 after
    Bloom recorded a touch in the first period and Murashko scored in the
    second. After Murashko took his only lead, 2-1, with just over a minute
    remaining, Bloom equalized seconds later and then went ahead 3-2 with 19
    seconds left. With Murashko attacking desperately, Bloom was able to push
    the lead to 6-2 and eventually won 8-4.

    "When I go down a touch late, I know I have to attack," said Bloom. "Once I
    was ahead with not much time, I knew he would have to come at me, so I just
    waited for him."

    The fencing competition continues Sunday with women's epee. The United
    States' Arlene Stevens opens her Olympic career at 9:30 a.m. Sydney time
    (6:30 p.m. Saturday EDT) against Zahra Gamir of Algeria.


    2000 Olympic Games
    Fencing Men's Epee Competition
    Saturday, July 16, 2000

    Medal Winners

    Gold: Pavel Kolobkov, Russian Federation
    Silver: Hugues Obry, France
    Bronze: Sang-Ki Lee, Korea

    Gold-Medal Bout
    Kolobkov def. Obry 15-12

    Bronze-Medal Bout
    Lee def. Marcel Fischer, Switzerland, 15-14


    U.S. Results

    Round of 64
    Tamir Bloom, Millburn, N.J., def. Andrei Murashko, Belarus, 8-4

    Round of 32
    Arnd Schmitt, Germany, def. Bloom 15-12
     
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