Ukraine defeated the United States 45-39 in the Women`s Team Sabre semifinals to move a step closer to the inaugural Olympic gold medal in the event, according to The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

The US team is made up of fencers who swept the medals in the Individual event at Beijing 2008. But the gold medalist in the Individual event, Mariel Zagunis, didn`t repeat her earlier unbeaten performance and failed to outscore any of her three rivals from the Ukraine team.

China beat France, 2007 world champion, with a victory of 45-38 to progress.

China`s Sabre team is made up of Tan Xue (World No. 4), Bao Yingying (World No. 6), and Huang Haiyang (World No. 20). Host team China looks to gain its first Olympic Sabre gold.

In the classification matches, Russia, Poland, South Africa and Canada finished fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.

The Women`s Team Sabre final will start at 7:00 p.m. (UTC/GMT +8) on August 14 at the Fencing Hall of the National Convention Center in Beijing.