Aug. 1, 2012
LONDON - In her Olympics debut, Red Storm alum Dagmara Wozniak finished eighth in the women's individual saber event . Seeded tenth, the native of Avenal, N.J. defeated the No. 7 seed to reach the quarterfinals, which aired Wednesday morning on MSNBC. In the quarterfinals, Wozniak was defeated, 15-13, by the world's No. 2 ranked fencer - Sophia Velikaia of Russia. Velikaia, who won gold last October at the 2011 World Fencing Championships, went on to win the silver medal in the event.
In Wozniak's first bout of the event, she made quick work of her opponent, defeating Egypt's Salma Mahran, 15-6. The difference of nine touches tied for second-widest margin of victory in the round.
Wozniak moved onto the round of 16 where she squared off with No. 7 Azza Besbes of Tunisia. Leading, 8-7, at the break, Wozniak quickly fell behind after Besbes rallied to take a 12-10 lead. However, Wozniak promptly tied the match at 12-12 and then fought her way to a 15-13 victory.
Her win in the round of 16 set up a match against Velikaia, with a trip to the medal round within her reach. In front of a national television audience, Wozniak jumped out to a 7-6 lead, but fell behind, 7-8, at the break. No. 2 Velikaia then maintained the lead for the remainder of the bout, defeating Wozniak, 15-13.
"Top-8 in the Olympic Games is Dagmara's best result overall, so it's a big achievement," Team USA and St. John's head coach Yury Gelman told RedStormSports.com. "This result gives her a lot of motivation to continue fencing and pursue a medal in 2016."
Both Wozniak and her U.S. teammate and former classmate senior Daryl Homer made top-8 finishes in their respective individual events. With no women's team saber event at the 2012 Games, Wozniak's Olympic competitions came to a conclusion on Wednesday. However, Homer will hit the strip again for the men's team saber event on Friday, Aug. 3 at 6:30 a.m. The men's saber squad will face Russia in the first round.
For more on Homer and Wozniak in the 2012 Olympic Games, follow their official twitter accounts (@DarylHomerUSA and @DagaUSAFencing) as well as the official St. John's fencing twitter account (@STJ_Fencing). Join in on the conversation with the #stjfencing and #JohnniesInLondon hashtags.
Shortcuts for watching NBColympic.com's replay of Wozniak's bouts
Round of 32 bout vs. Egypt's Salma Mahran
Round of 16 bout vs. Tunisia's Azza Besbes
Round of 16 bout vs. Russia's Sophia Velikaia
The remaining competition schedule for Homer can be found below (all times are ET):