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Mariel Zagunis fell short of a third consecutive gold medal in saber at the World Fencing Championships on Wednesday, taking home the silver medal after losing to Russia's Sophia Velikaia in the final.
"I feel like I fenced really well today until the final seconds of the final bout. I should've clinched the final when I was up 13-8, but, unfortunately, I lost a little focus," Zagunis said in a statement released by USA Fencing. "There was a call that I thought was going to be my attack and instead it was called simultaneous, and instead of taking a second to kind of reset and process what just happened, I started running at her because I just wanted to finish the bout and that was exactly the opposite of what I should have done against her ... She was pretty lost at 13-8 and I just handed her a couple touches and she finished it out."
U.S. women's national team coach Ed Korfanty, who is also Zagunis' personal coach, said it is hard to repeat on such a big stage.
"She's won this event twice and the Olympics before that and it's very hard to repeat four, five times in a row," he told USA Fencing. "Now she needs to rest and take care of herself and next year we will be ready for London."