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U.S. Flag-Bearer Zagunis Fails To Medal In Sabre

American fencer Mariel Zagunis (left), the two-time gold medal winner in sabre, shakes hands after losing to Ukraine's Olga Kharlan in their bronze medal match at London's ExCel Center.
American fencer Mariel Zagunis (left), the two-time gold medal winner in sabre, shakes hands after losing to Ukraine's Olga Kharlan in their bronze medal match at London's ExCel Center.

Decorated fencer Mariel Zagunis, who carried the U.S. flag into Olympic Stadium as part of the London 2012 opening ceremony, lost in the bronze medal match in the sabre Wednesday afternoon, falling to Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, 15-10.

The loss means that Zagunis, 27, will leave London without a medal — there is no team sabre medal at this year's Olympics (we'll post more about that situation soon).

The bronze-medal upset came hours after Zagunis, the two-time defending gold medal champion, lost in the semifinal to South Korean Kim Jiyeon. In that match, Zagunis seemed to be on her way to dominating — she led by 12-5 before losing 15-13, as The New York Times reports.

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET: You can learn more about Zagunis in an interview NPR's Tom Goldman conducted with her earlier this year.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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