Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Olympic Green Convention Center, Beijing
Date Started: August 16, 2008
Date Finished: August 16, 2008
Format: Single-elimination tournament.
One of the great mysteries of the sport was the lack of success of the Italian team at World Championship level in the years between Olympics. Despite completely dominating the individual event and regularly having three fencers in the world’s top five they had won only a single silver medal in World Championship team competition since 2004.
While Italy had an easy win in the first round against Poland, the reigning World Champions, they were defeated by a lightly regarded US team that then went on to upset another higher ranked team in the form of Hungary and became unlikely finalists. The other semi-final saw another underwhelming performance from Italy and they bowed out to Russia by the closest possible margin 22-21.
The US held Russia in the very early part of the final but when Russia went on a streak where they won 16 of 17 points the battle was lost and the Russians went on to score a lopsided victory.
[Erinn Smart]’s achievement of winning a silver medal in this event was matched the next day by her brother, Keeth, as part of the US men’s sabre team.
The Italians rebounded to win bronze.