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SJU Alumnus Wins Silver Medal at 2016 Olympic Games

Friday, August 12, 2016

Team USA fencer Daryl Homer ’13CPS took home the silver medal for men's individual saber at the 31st Summer Olympiad in Rio De Janeiro, making him the first Red Storm alumnus to claim a medal since the 2008 games in Beijing.

It is the second time at the 2016 Summer Olympics that an American fencer earned a silver medal and just the fourth time a male athlete from the United States earned an Olympic medal in individual saber. 

St. John's is well represented at this summer's Olympics, as two Red Storm fencing and two track and field alumni traveled to Brazil to compete for three different countries. St. John's also sent graduates and coaching staff to take their places among the few select Team USA coaches and managers in the 2016 summer games. 

The St. John's fencing and track and field teams have been a major part of the Olympics in recent years, sending at least a pair of St. John's alumni to each of the last two summer games.

The first-round opponent for the 10th-seeded Homer was a fencer from Kazakhstan who ranked 39 in the world for men's individual saber. Homer won by a score of 15‒11. A four-time All-American, Homer went on to defeat a more challenging opponent, a seventh-seeded player from Germany, by a score of 15‒12. Advancing to his second-straight Olympic quarterfinal, Homer scored a 15–12 victory over another talented German fencer who is ranked 25 in the world. 

Homer advanced to his first career Olympic semifinal by taking on the 15th-ranked saber fencer from Iran. The Red Storm alumnus delivered once again, breaking a 14‒14 tie with the final touch point of the bout, moving him to the finals with a guarantee of an Olympic medal.

Team USA saber coach Yury Gelman, the head coach of St. John's fencing, played an integral part in guiding Homer to his medal by sharing advice during breaks and between bouts. 

In the finals, the reigning 2012 London Olympics gold medalist in men's individual saber, Aron Szilagyi of Hungary, was up against Homer. Szilagyi is the number-three ranked saber fencer in the world and was the fourth seed entering the competition. 

After a hard-fought battle that ended in 15‒8 defeat for Homer, the St. John’s alumnus secured the silver medal for Team USA.