Hanna Thompson and Jason Rogers lead U.S to new heights at the Summer Olympics
COLUMBUS, Ohio Hanna Thompson and Jason Rogers, both alumni of the Ohio State fencing program, helped lead the United States to historic silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
Thompson, a 2005 graduate, was one of three members of the seventh-seeded women’s foil team that captured the silver medal Saturday, the first Olympic medal in the event in U.S. history. Rogers, a 2006 graduate, followed in Thompson’s footsteps Sunday by helping lead the U.S. men’s saber squad to a silver medal, the team’s first medal since capturing bronze at the 1948 Summer Games.
Thompson was stellar during the U.S team’s run to the silver Saturday. In a quarterfinal match with Poland, Thompson scored a key 7-0 run over Magdelena Mroczkiewicz, erasing a 22-15 Poland advantage and swinging the momentum in the favor of the U.S team.
Next up was powerhouse Hungary in the semifinals, where Thompson edged all three Hungarian fencers. She won 4-1 over Gabriella Varga, 4-2 over Edina Knapek, and 3-2 over 2004 Bronze Medalist Aida Mohamed in leading the U.S. to a tight 35-33 victory.
The team’s run came to an end in the gold medal match with Russia, where they were unable to overcome the Russians and fell, 28-11.
Rogers was equally key in the seventh-seeded U.S men’s saber team on its run to the silver medal Sunday. Rogers helped lead the U.S to a tight 45-44 win in the quarterfinals against second-seeded Hungary with 15 touches on the round. The semifinals staged a dramatic rematch of the 2004 Olympics, where the Russians defeated the U.S, 45-44, to deny the Americans a bronze medal. This time, however, the U.S. came out on top, winning 45-44 in yet another classic match. Rogers earned 12 touches in the round.
In the gold medal match, the U.S. again came up just short, falling to France, 45-37. The silver medal, the highest ever for the U.S. men’s saber team, was the first in 60 years in the event for the Americans.
Thompson and Rogers' efforts helped the U.S. compile six medals in Beijing, good for second-most in the competition behind Italy's seven.
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