Beijing, China (Sports Network) - The United States men's fencing team won silver in the team foil competition after losing to France in the gold medal match Sunday at the Beijing Olympics.
The U.S. had earned surprising victories over Russia and Hungary to gain a berth in the final round. However, the French posted a 45-37 win over the Americans to secure their second straight gold medal in the event.
France had actually built a 40-28 lead heading into the final round, but Keeth Smart of the U.S. would make the final score a bit more respectable as he defeated France's Julien Pillet, 9-5.
"The individual medal would have been nice, but the team medal is so much more gratifying," said Smart.
The American team of Smart, Tim Morehouse and Jason Rogers notched a win over Hungary, the defending world champions, in the quarterfinals and then defeated Russia in the semis. The victories were by the slimmest of margins, as the U.S. won both battles, 45-44.
James Williams also earned the silver medal as a member of the U.S. team.
Italy earned the bronze medal with a 45-44 decision over the Russians.
The men's team sabre marked the end of fencing competition in Beijing. The American fencers had a very successful Olympics, taking six medals at these Games. The other five were on the women's side as the U.S. pulled off a clean sweep in the individual sabre, won silver in the team foil and bronze in the team sabre.
The silver medal is only the second medal won by the Amercicans in team sabre competition. The other was a bronze won at the 1948 London Olympic Games.
08/17 09:52:01 ET