HAVANA, Cuba – Adding another gold medal in international competition to his impressive resume, rising senior co-captain Eli Dershwitz of the Harvard men's fencing team earned a first-place finish in men's sabre at the Pan American Championships this past weekend. Dershwitz helped Team USA to its fifth gold medal of the weekend in six events.
Dershwitz clinched his third Pan American title of his career coming out of the gates strong, posting six pool wins and a plus-29 touch differential after dropping only one touch across all bouts in the first round. In the next three rounds, Dershwitz defeated his opponents 15-10, 15-8 and 15-10 to advance to the semifinals.
Pitted against 2016 Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer, Dershwitz controlled the bout as he defeated Homer 15-8 to land a spot in the finals. The Sherborn, Mass. native faced Shaul Gordon in the final round, gaining an 8-5 lead at the beginning of the bout. Dershwitz dominated the remainder the bout, finishing with a 15-9 win.
The gold medal victory marks the third international title this season for Dershwitz who won World Cup titles in Algeria and Italy previously this year to reach a career-high No. 3 world ranking.
"I'm just happy that all my hard work at home is showing up and paying off on the strip. It feels really good, especially since it's the first tournament my family has been at in a very long time and on Father's Day, obviously to have my dad there, he was really happy," stated Dershwitz. "My mom was there – always my No. 1 fan and my No. 1 supporter. My older brother was there. He's the reason I got into fencing. He always pushed me when I was a little kid first starting. He was pushing me to be better, so to be able to get a great result like that in front of my family, it means a lot."
Dershwitz will return to Cambridge this fall for his senior season, leading the Crimson as a co-captain in the 2018-19 campaign.