Five-time U.S. fencing Olympian Zagunis is still looking to the future

Chiba, Japan (AP)- Mariel ZagunisShe was the first American woman to win an Olympic fencing gold medal. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the saber competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.

The 2004 and 2008 championships are competing she fifth Olympic Games. sheAlready looking forward to another medal in the team competition, it may even be the sixth trip to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“It ended too quickly because I felt there was more in my gas tank, and I just put in a lot of work,” she Say.

Zagunis Say this is appropriate she Quarter-finals against one of them she The oldest competitor. 2016 Olympics runner-up Russian fencer Sofia Velikaya ends ZagunisAfter a tie of 8-8 and 7 outstanding points, he bid for the third individual saber championship with a score of 15-8. They have participated in many competitions before, including in the 2011 World Championship finals, but they have not met in the competition for several years. This game is a typical saber fencing, combining lightning reaction and clever strategy.

“Obviously I’m nervous,” Velikaya said of facing ZagunissheIs an experienced fighter, shePsychologically strong, her ability to handle stress is incredible. “

Zagunis Say she With Velikaya there is “it goes without saying why we are here” because they are both mothers competing among the best mothers in the world.

“I’m really proud to be here and prove that it can be done,” Zagunis Just as Velikaya won the personal sabre silver medal for the third time in a row.

In the past five years, Zagunis’ life has changed a lot. on the one hand, sheNo longer the only American woman to win the Olympic fencing gold medal. Lee Kiefer’s victory in foil on Sunday changed this.

Zagunis Seriously injured his foot at the end of 2016, became a mother in October 2017 and had to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Zagunis Make sure to qualify for Tokyo in March 2020, just before the virus shuts down sports around the world. she Found it difficult to cope with the uncertainty about whether the Olympics will be held in a year.

An extra year of training “makes your brain want to explode”, she Say.

The pandemic also means only three years before the Paris Olympics Olympic Games.

“I don’t rule out Paris, especially knowing what I have experienced in the past five years,” she Say. “Feeling my performance there today really makes me confident about going forward.”

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