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Italy wins men's fencing gold; U.S. finishes 4th

London, England (Sports Network) - Italians may have come up empty in the individual men's foil tournament, but they made up for it Sunday by winning team gold.

Italy features three foil fencers ranked in the world top 10, but Andrea Cassara, Andrea Baldini and Valerio Aspromonte all failed to win individual medals here. They won't go home empty handed after the Italians scored a 45-39 victory over a surprising Japan in team competition.

It extended the Summer Games success for Italy, which saw its women's foil team sweep the individual medals while winning team gold.

Japan, meanwhile, got the best of second-seeded China and Germany, seeded third, before falling to Italy. The Japanese, who narrowly got by the Germans 41-40 in the semifinals, won their first ever fencing medal.

Italy had routed the United States in the semifinals by a 45-24 margin and things didn't go much better for the Americans in their bronze medal match with Germany.

Race Imboden was outtouched 5-2 in the first round and the Germans had built a 20-5 advantage by the end of four rounds. Germany easily cruised to a 45-27 win to finish third.

"We are a really young team and we were the underdogs. We wanted to get out there with as much energy as we could. It is hard to claw back," pointed out American Gerek Meinhardt.

08/05 16:08:51 ET

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