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Siblings qualify for U.S. Olympic fencing team

Courtney Hurley, Kelly Hurley

Épée fencers Courtney and Kelley Hurley are the first siblings to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

The Hurleys will return to the Olympics in Rio in August thanks to results in recent international competitions and their places in national team standings.

At London 2012, Courtney, 25, finished 22nd individually and earned bronze with the U.S. épée team. Kelley was also on the bronze-medal team but did not compete individually.

In 2008, Kelley placed 20th individually, when women’s épée didn’t have a team event.

So Rio will be the first Olympics where both Hurleys compete individually.

The Hurleys are the fifth and sixth fencers to qualify for the Olympic team, joining women’s sabre fencers Mariel Zagunis and Ibtihaj Muhammad and men’s foil fencers Gerek Meinhardt and Alexander Massialas.

One U.S. épée fencer has earned an individual Olympic medal -- George Calnan‘s bronze in 1928.

The U.S. Olympic team of more than 500 athletes will almost surely include more siblings, most notably Olympic tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. Nine sets of siblings were on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

MORE: Full list of athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic team

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