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US saber team faces top seed Russia at Olympics

Updated August 2, 2012

LONDON (AP) If the American men's saber team wants to match its 2008 silver medal at the London Olympics, it will have to overcome top-seeded Russia in the quarterfinals on Friday.

The United States will rely on the experience of Timothy Morehouse and James Williams, the two fencers from the Beijing Games still on the team.

The United States won six medals in total at fencing four years ago. With three events remaining, the quest for a first piece of hardware in London is still going on.

Two-time defending champion France will not compete in the team event. Bolade Apithy was the only French saber fencer to qualify for the Olympics.

With Russia regarded a strong candidate for gold, 2008 bronze medal winner Italy and Germany will be looking for redemption after disappointing results in the individual saber competition Sunday.

Germany's top-ranked fencer, Nicolas Limbach, suffered an early defeat at the hands of Russia's Nikolay Kovalev. He will lead the German team, which takes on South Korea.

World and former Olympic champion Aldo Montano lost 15-13 to Italian teammate Diego Occhiuzzi, who went on to win silver. Italy will meet Belarus in the quarterfinals.

China and Romania complete the eight-nation field for the saber team event.

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