Aug 5, 2012, 3:14 PM EST
Track & field events started on Friday and the 2012 Olympics are entering the home stretch. On Saturday, the Irish earned a pair of medals, the first at the London Games for Notre Dame athletes.
It was a historic day for U.S. Fencing, and it’s thanks in part to a pair of Notre Dame siblings.
Senior Courtney Hurley and her older sister, Kelley Hurley (’10) helped the United States win the bronze medal in the women’s team epee competition.
Courtney scored the winning touch in overtime to give the team a 31-30 victory against Russia, securing the United States’ first-ever Olympic medal in women’s epee.
Kelley was an alternate for the team competition, but was named a replacement fencer for the bronze medal match. She went 1-2, including an important 4-1 victory in the fifth of the nine-bout match.
Courtney followed with a 4-2 win, and the sisters’ bouts highlighted a crucial American rally.
According to yesterday’s update from associate media relations director Chris Masters, the Hurley sisters are the 20th and 21st Notre Dame athletes to earn Olympic medals.
In addition, Kelley’s appearance in the bronze medal competition made her the 10th Irish athlete to have competed (or be scheduled to compete) at this year’s Olympics, the most ever for Notre Dame (Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 had nine athletes each).
In their final game in group play, Canada and junior Natalie Achonwa fell to Australia, 72-63. Achonwa scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds and had two steals.
Through five games, she has averaged 7.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Canada had previously earned a spot in the quarterfinals, where they will likely meet the United States on Tuesday.
In the men’s team foil competition, senior Gerek Meinhardt was added as a replacement fencer. Originally listed as an alternate, Meinhardt entered the competition during the quarterfinal bout against France.
His 11-1 victory helped lead the U.S. to a 45-39 victory, but the American squad lost to Italy in the semifinals.
Team U.S.A. was later ousted by Germany, 45-27, in the bronze medal match. Still, the 4th place finish ties the best United States result in the event since taking bronze in 1932.
That’s all for the weekend wrap up from London.
Monday will be a huge day for the Irish at the Olympics, as Canada and the United States will meet in women’s soccer at 2:45 pm ET on NBC Sports Network.
Melissa Tancredi (’04) leads Canada with four goals. She and teammate Candace Chapman (’05) will battle Shannon Boxx (’99) and the United States for a spot in Thursday’s gold medal final.
Chapman and Boxx have been sidelined with injuries since the opening game, but could return tomorrow. Either way, it should be a great game at Old Trafford, so do your best to tune in.
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