BEIJING (AP) - Mariel Zagunis of Notre Dame won the first US gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, leading an American sweep in women's saber fencing.

Zagunis, the 2004 saber champion, took the gold yesterday with a 15-8 victory over Sada Jacobson, who took the silver. Becca Ward took the bronze.

When Zagunis won four years ago, she was the first American in a century to win a fencing gold. Now, it's becoming commonplace in this event. The US will also be favored to win the team competition in women's saber.

(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)