And then there was one…
Beijing Olympic Medalist and current #3 ranked US men’s saber fencer James Williams, 24, has recently accepted a job offer to work for a hedge fund in San Francisco. He will discontinue traveling and competing for the rest of the season in what is a huge blow to the US Men’s Saber Team.
Williams was a virtual lock to qualify for the 2010 World Championships in Paris and he is the second most veteran member of the national team. While he has not officially retired, it’s unclear if he’ll be able to continue his career. At the age of 24, he felt the need to begin his professional career and so after a lot of thought, he accepted the offer and he will move out to San Francisco next week.
If Williams is done fencing, the team will still have three fencers who have made strong international results, Ben Igoe, Daryl Homer and Tim Morehouse, but it leaves a lack of depth in men’s saber program. After a very deep and competive 2008 season, Keeth Smart, Tim Hagamen, Patrick Ghattas and Ivan Lee all retired. In addition to Williams, Olympian Jason Rogers is currently on a limited practice and competing schedule and debating if he will continue fencing as well.
The situation leaves open some interesting questions, such as what will happen if Williams qualifies for worlds without competing again? And, who will step up for team USA?
CURRENT USA MEN’S SABER RANKING AND PAST EXPERIENCE:
#1 Tim Morehouse 5196 Points (7-Time National Team Member and Olympian)
#2 Daryl Homer 3258 Points (1-Time National Team Member)
#3 James Williams 3075 Points (4-Time National Team Member and Olympian)
#4 Ben Igoe 2446 Points (1-Time National Team Member)
#5 Barron Nydam 1388 Points
#6 Eric Arzoian 1380 Points
The Stanford Cardinal fencing program received great news.
The coaches and Stanford Fencing Association have announced that they have received a $1.25 million donation from alumnus and former engineering student Jimi Jung. Jung is a sabre fencer and owner of the Lourus Fencing Club in the Republic of Korea (ROK).