Brief history here. Until a couple decades ago, women were not allowed to do sabre, but had to content themselves with foil. (Back in the '70's, when Cal Poly wanted me on their fencing team, I gave the condition that I be allowed to study sabre. Sorry, they said, but no. Double loss, them without one of their star foil people, me without sabre lessons. :-( I got lessons privately later, from an ex-Olympic fencer.) Finally, women were allowed into the sabre elite. And wow, have they done credit to themselves!
So congrats to Mariel Zaggunis on her gold and Sada Jacobson on the bronze! This is only the US's second fencing gold since 1904 (for the team fencing), and the first sabre EVER!