BEIJING // Mariel Zagunis won the first US gold medal in Beijing, leading an American sweep in the women's sabre fencing. Zagunis, the 2004 sabre champion, took the gold with a 15-8 victory over her compatriot 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 is becoming commonplace to see an American challenging for medals. The US will also be favourite to win the team competition in the women's sabre event.