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Maria Cerra Tishman, 1948 Olympic fencer, dies at 96

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PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) Maria Cerra Tishman, a U.S. fencer who finished fourth in individual foil at the 1948 Olympics, has died. She was 96.

The Vander Plaat-Caggiano Funeral Home in Fair Lawn said she died Saturday at a health-care center in Paramus.

Competing as Maria Cerra at the London Games, she advanced through three preliminary rounds to reach the final eight. She missed the gold medal by two touches. She lost to Hungary's Ilona Elek, the eventual winner and champion at the previous Olympics in 1936.

Those Olympics were Tishman's first and only international individual competition. She was a charter member of the U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame in 1963.

Tishman lived in Glen Rock since 1953 and was an elementary school teacher for 20 years until retiring in 1984.

She is survived by sons Jeffrey Tishman and Thomas Tishman and three grandchildren. Another son, Daniel, died in 1979.