Russia leads Europe to dominate fencing at Rio Olympics

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/15 11:38:05

The nine-day fencing competitions at the Rio Olympics concluded on Sunday with European fencers sweeping nine out of the 10 golds on offer to display their dominance again in the sport.

Italy was the leader for the last three Olympic Games, however, it's time for Russia to be the biggest winner.

Russia, who did not win a single gold at London Olympics, collected four gold medals from the women's foil individual (Inna Deriglazova), women's sabre individual (Yana Egorian), men's foil team and women's sabre team. Only France in 1900 (5) and Italy in 1920 (5) have ever collected more fencing golds than Russia in a single edition of the Olympic Games.

Deriglazova, the world No. 2, made the history as the first Russian fencer to win the women's individual foil.

Prior to the Rio Olympic Games, Russia already stole the limelight by leading the medal table both in 2015 World Fencing Championships and 2016 European Fencing Championships.

Hungary took the second place with two golds, one silver and one bronze. Aron Szilagyi joined four-men club winning back-to-back gold medals in the men's sabre individual and Veteran Emese Szasz handed Hungary the first Rio Olympic Games gold medal in women's epee individual.

Italy fencers advanced into four competitions finals but only Daniele Garozzo, who never be a champion in the senior level, claimed the gold medal in men's foil individual. Italy finished third on the medal list, the last time for them to collect only one gold medal in fencing was in 1988.

Frace ended its gold medal drought since Beijing 2008 by clinching gold in the men's epee team. The 'les Bleus' won three consecutive titles to set a record ninth Olympic title in the event.

London Olympic Games witnessed Asia emerge as a new fencing powerhouse with China and South Korea winning two gold medals respectively. But in Rio, China collected only one sliver and one bronze while South Korea just bagged one gold from 20-year-old Park Sang-young in men's epee individual.

Chinese women's epee team failed to defend their title, which gave Romania its second Olympic title in women's fencing since 1996. Lei Sheng, China's first male foil Olympic champion, was eliminated in the round of 32.

The Rio Olympic Fencing Center also witnessed a milestone for African fencers. Tunisia's Ines Boubakri became the first woman from Africa to win an Olympic medal in fencing after she defeated Aida Shanaeva of Russia in the bronze match of women's foil individual.

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